What is Botox?
Botox is the brand name of a protein made from Clostridium botulinum, a kind of bacteria. This microbe can cause botulism (a form of food poisoning) in large amounts, but in small, diluted amounts, the scientific community has found a way to use it for cosmetic purposes. Injections of Botox are used to soften moderate to severe facial wrinkles, and is an invaluable part of an anti-aging medical skin care treatment plan.
Why Get Botox Injections?
When we use the same facial muscles to make the same expressions over and over, it can cause deep wrinkles to develop. Botox injections will relax the facial muscles that you use most often. The skin over the wrinkle will then relax as well, which causes the wrinkle to soften.
Botox is most commonly used on the wrinkles between the eyebrows. The treatment is also useful for forehead creases, crow’s feet, and other wrinkles of the upper part of the face. Since you need the muscles around your mouth to chew and speak, Botox treatments aren’t administered in those areas as commonly. It is not an effective treatment for wrinkles that are caused by gravity or excessive exposure to the sun, since those do not involve the muscles.
There are also many medicinal uses for Botox, such as treating excessive sweating, and migraine headaches.
Botox is an excellent, non-surgical way to combat signs of aging in the face. It’s a great option for patients who do not want to pursue more invasive anti-aging techniques like facelifts.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox stops the nerve signals that cause muscles to contract, resulting in a weakening or temporary paralyzation of the muscle. Once the muscle stops contracting and relaxes, the skin on top of it will soften as well. The wrinkles will become visibly softer, and since the muscle is weakened, the wrinkles will not become deeper.
Who is A Good Candidate for Botox treatment?
A good candidate for Botox will be in good general health, without any nerve or muscular disorders that the injections could interfere with. The patient should be at least 18 years old, and not pregnant and/or breastfeeding. You should have realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery, and have concerns about the moderate to severe expression lines on your face.
There are a few contraindications for Botox treatment. If you have one or more of the following issues, Botox might not be right for you:
- Skin problems around the expression lines you want to treat
- Drooping eyelids
- Muscular issues such as pronounced weakness in the facial muscles you want to treat
- Severe allergies
- Severe skin reactions to injections
- Scars or very thick skin around the injection site
Come in for a consultation if you are unsure if you have any of these issues. Our plastic surgeon will discuss your situation with you to determine if Botox treatment is right for you.
What Happens During My Consultation for Botox?
During your initial consultation, the Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performing the Botox will review your medical history. He will evaluate the skin of your face and assess the expression lines that are causing you concern. The injections can sometimes be given in the same appointment, depending on how many units you need, what medications you’re on, your current lifestyle, and how much time you have.
If you need to come back for the treatment, your surgeon may ask you to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications beforehand. You may also need to stop drinking alcohol for about one week prior to treatment.
How is a Botox Treatment Done?
Botox treatment is a simple and quick procedure. You won’t need any anesthetic or time off from work. The medication will be injected into the target muscle using very small, fine hypodermic needles. There might be a pinching sensation or some other small feeling of discomfort during the injection, but that should fade quickly.
You might need more than one injection, depending on the size of the muscle or muscles you are working on. Once the injections are complete (usually in no more than 30 minutes), you will want to avoid rubbing the area for 12 hours.
What is Recovery Like for Botox Treatment?
There is no real downtime for Botox, though you may experience some mild bruising or tenderness in the injection site. You can return to your normal routine immediately after leaving the doctor’s office. Again, avoid rubbing the area or lying down for three to four hours after the procedure because that can cause the medication to shift.
When Can I See My Final Results?
The results of Botox usually take between three and seven days to become apparent. The exact time frame will vary from patient to patient.
Is Botox Permanent?
Botox injections are not a permanent treatment. The effects will start to wear off after about three to six months. You will notice that the wrinkles are becoming harsher and more visible as the medication wears off. You can repeat treatments at this time; in fact, repeated Botox treatments will keep the muscles in a state of relaxation, causing the wrinkles to look more and more relaxed over time.
What Are the Risks of Botox Treatment?
The most common risk with Botox is bruising from the injections. If you experience bruising, it should fade after a few days. Some patients may also experience headaches that last 24 to 48 hours after the injections. Other risks include eyelid drooping (which resolves in about three weeks), itching, redness, nausea, and sweating.
More serious risks include seizure, flu-like symptoms, pain in the eyes, trouble with your vision, and trouble swallowing. If you have had Botox treatments and are experiencing these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Select a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Northern Virginia to perform your Botox treatment. Board Certified surgeons are up-to-date on the most recent techniques and precautions, and are well-trained in the proper administration of Botox injections.
Will Insurance Cover Botox?
Most insurance plans will not cover a cosmetic procedure like Botox. If you are having Botox injections to treat a medical condition such as migraines, it is possible that your insurance will help with the cost. Contact your insurance company if you have questions about your coverage.
I Still Have Questions
Nova offers botox in the Arlington, Fairfax and Mclean areas in Northern Virginia.
If you would like to schedule Botox in Northern Virginia, call for a consultation. Contact our offices for any questions about Botox at our Asburn or Reston locations. If you have any other questions for our surgeon, don’t hesitate to call us at (703) 574-2588. Dr. Nukta will be happy to answer any questions you have.