The war against facial wrinkles has become more effective with the use of Botox®, Dysport® or Xeomin®. When you smile, laugh or frown, the contraction of the facial muscles creates dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles can be soften and in many cases eliminated with the use of Botox®, Dysport® or Xeomin®. These products are referred to as “neuromodulators”. The FDA approved the use of Botox® for the treatment of frown lines in 2002 and for the crows feet area in 2013 but this product can be safely used in other areas such as the forehead, chin, neck and mouth. This is referred to as an off label use. I have been using this safe and highly effective treatment in my practice since 1998. Recently Dysport® and Xeomin® entered into the neuromodulator arena. Their action and effects are similar to Botox®.
Botox® works by blocking the impulses from the nerve to the muscles. This causes the muscle to relax by blocking their contraction. The wrinkles in the overlying skin become smooth and wrinkle free. Botox® will only affect the muscles where the injection is placed allowing untreated muscles to contract normally. This maintains normal facial expression.
The treatment involves the use of a very fine needle to inject small quantities of these neuromodulators in precise locations. There is a minimal amount of discomfort associated with the injections, often related to a tiny bee sting. This is a wonderful treatment that requires no downtime and allows you to resume normal daily activities immediately. You will start to see the effects within days and maximum response will occur within 1-2 weeks.
The most common side effects are temporary bruising and swelling. Less common problems include temporary drooping of the eyebrow and asymmetry of facial expression. A dose adjustment with a small amount of Botox® may help to correct these concerns. Rarely, one may see temporary drooping of the eyelid, but this can be reversed with special eye drops.
The effects of the Botox® treatment will last 3-6 months. You may need to repeat the treatment 2-3 times a year. The dramatic improvement in facial wrinkles and the ease of application has made neuromodulators like Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin® the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed today.