Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation

Simply put, Botox® is the brand name of an injectable made from purified protein. Specifically, it contains the botulinum toxin, which is a versatile substance used for everything from smoothing out wrinkled foreheads — as with Botox® Cosmetic available at our spa — to treating medical conditions. Doctors choose it for hyperhidrosis, for example, because the injections can prevent excessive underarm sweating.

It does all of this by keeping signals from reaching their targets in the body. When the brain sends a message to underarm glands to begin to produce sweat, for instance, Botox® prevents that message from ever making it to those glands. Similarly, when the brain sends a message for muscles to contract as part of a facial expression — say, a scowl — that message doesn’t arrive at key muscles that contribute to forehead wrinkles.

The makers of the prescription injectable can boast more than four decades of study that have gone into ensuring its safety and efficacy. In fact, Botox® was used in a medical setting for years before it gained FDA approval and popularity as a cosmetic.

Its development was influenced by roughly 2,500 studies, all of which helped it to get approved for a variety of uses — and new applications continue to be discovered and approved.

It is certainly popular as a cosmetic. In the 12 years since its cosmetic approval in 2002, there have been about 11 million Botox® injections. It regularly tops lists of globally popular procedures for men and women alike.

What Causes Wrinkles?

One reason Botox® is so popular may be because the wrinkles it treats are so universally visible, appearing on the upper half of the face, near the eyes, which tend to draw focus. Each scowl and frown, each squint and laugh etches wrinkles into the skin moved by contracting muscles. Over time, as the countless daily expressions add up and aging skin loses its pliability, the wrinkles become more and more noticeable.

This is because your skin is much more than a thin covering for your body. It’s made up of layers, each composed of a variety of elements that fulfill roles vital to maintaining health and beauty. Unfortunately, some of those elements diminish as we get older, decreasing our skin’s resiliency and vibrancy.

A loss of key natural moisturizers and more creates skin that can’t “bounce back” as effectively to its resting state after being pushed into a new position. What begin as thin lines may deepen into moderate — or even severe — wrinkles visible even when the forehead is at rest.

Such wrinkles that develop on the face are what Botox® is approved to address. These are crow’s feet that radiate from the corners of the eyes and furrows that crop up between the eyebrows. Botox® works by preventing specific muscles from contracting, giving the overlying skin a break and keeping wrinkles from appearing where they’re not wanted.

Where In the Face is Botox® Applied?

Our nurse injectors don’t simply apply Botox® Cosmetic to the general area where unwanted wrinkles appear. Injections must be made with precision, targeting specific muscles that fold the skin into telltale creases and lines when they contract.

For crow’s feet, the muscles are known as the orbicularis oculi. There’s one to the side of either eye to control the eyelid closing, and injections are made into three areas in each of the two muscles.

For glabellar lines, there are multiple muscles that come into play: the procerus muscle and the corrugator muscle. Injections will be made into four areas in the corrugator, which gets its name from the Latin word for causing wrinkles. One Botox® injection goes into the procerus. In all, there are five points to be targeted in the forehead.

The Western Dermatology Consultants team is highly trained, and the injectors are supervised to ensure that Botox® is administered safely and effectively. The precision not only prioritizes patient health, but also maximizes the aesthetic benefit by preserving surrounding muscle action to allow for a continued range of expressions.

Despite the emphasis on precision, the injection process alone can take as little as 10 minutes to complete. Patients have been known to schedule lunchtime appointments, then directly return to work or other activities.

Will Botox® Hurt?

Many patients describe the injection itself as similar to having their skin pinched, which is a common sensation related to procedures involving needles. Some patients concerned about the injection request that the skin at the injection site be numbed with ice or a topical medication before receiving the treatment. This can be discussed and arranged at the consultation or at any point prior to the injection.

How Long Do the Effects of Botox® Last?

Patients should begin to see a reduction in the appearance of their wrinkles within 24 to 48 hours of receiving their Botox® injection. Allergan, the cosmetic’s manufacturer, states that results can last up to four months, though some patients have reported enjoying its benefits for longer. Its exact duration depends on a variety of factors, but anyone who receives the injections can expect several months minimum of smoothed-out lines and a refreshed appearance.

As the effects fade and wrinkles gradually return, patients can discuss a new round of injections so that they can maintain their unlined look.

What Else Can Botox® Do?

As noted above, Botox® is effective at combatting hyperhidrosis in addition to serving as a popular cosmetic. The injectable is also routinely used by medical doctors in relieving neck pain from a condition known as cervical dystonia, managing migraine symptoms, controlling eyelid spasms, treating overactive bladders, and helping strabismus sufferers’ eyes to align.