Botox injections are versatile, with numerous cosmetic applications for the face.
Botox injections have both medical and cosmetic uses. All are a version of botulinum toxin with the purpose of paralyzing muscle activity temporarily. Botox injections block certain signals from the nerves that cause muscle contraction and relax the muscles that lie below wrinkles. This is what makes them an ideal choice for lines and wrinkles.
Doctors and patients should discuss realistic expectations for both cosmetic and medical injections.
Uses for Botox
In addition to cosmetic uses, certain medical conditions associated with the ear, nose throat and head might also benefit from Botox injections, such as:
- Lazy eye
- Excessive sweating
- Cervical dystonia
- Muscle contractures
- Chronic migraines
- Eye twitching
Patients should make doctors aware if they have had Botox in the past, especially in the last four months. Doctors will consider a full medication history since there is the risk of Botox adversely interacting with certain drugs, such as sleeping medications, muscle relaxers, and allergy medications. Patients should also disclose blood thinners since they can increase the risk of bruising or bleeding when taken close to the time of the injection. Doctors will let patients know if dosages need to be altered or if a medication needs to be temporarily stopped before Botox.
Prior to administering the injections, the doctor may take photos of the area being injected and will let patients know what they can expect concerning the results of the Botox.
Prior to having the injections done, doctors may offer to numb the area being treated to promote comfort. There are different numbing methods that might be considered, such as ice, topical anesthesia, and vibration anesthesia.
The doctor will draw up the needed amount of Botox into a syringe. The needles used are generally small. The treatment area is identified, and the Botox is injected. The reason for the Botox injection and the size of the targeted area will determine how many units are used.
Patients are able to go home shortly after the injection, because there is no downtime. The treated area should not be massaged or rubbed for a period of time determined by the doctor.
The effects of Botox injections usually last approximately three months, but can last even longer. In most cases, patients notice the benefits of treatment within a few days of the injection being administered. Follow-up injections are generally needed to maintain results.