Botox® and Dysport® are very dilute solutions of a highly purified protein called botulinum toxin. They are injected just under the skin into overactive facial muscles. This shot interrupts the signal between the nerve and muscle responsible for furrows and wrinkles of the face. It is especially useful for forehead lines, the glabella (between the eyebrows), frown lines around the mouth, and crow’s feet wrinkles of the eyes. This treatment can only treat wrinkles caused by muscle contraction. It does not treat lines caused by sun damage or aging. Other rejuvenation treatments are available for areas that will not respond to Botox®.
Usually within two to three days, patients begin to see softening or elimination of the lines and notice relaxation of the muscles. The full effect of the solution occurs between 1 to 2 weeks. Improvement typically lasts for approximately 3 months, though effects may last longer in some patients, and results may vary. This process can safely be repeated every three to six months to maintain the desired results.
Botox® can be used to treat excessive sweating of the axilla (underarms), hands, and feet. Injection of this into these areas interrupts the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands to produce sweat. The effects of the solution for hyperhidrosis are temporary, generally lasting approximately 6 to 9 months.
Botox® can also be used to reduce the bulkiness of the masseter muscles to TMJ (temporal-mandibular joint) disorders, reduce bruxism (grinding of the teeth), and for contouring of the jawline.
Ice can be applied to the treatment area before and after injections to decrease pain, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. No aftercare is necessary following the injection. Makeup can be worn to cover any bruising or injection site marks.
Dermatologists have been using Botox® in San Diego since 1980 and it has an excellent safety record. Side effects from this are rare and usually mild and of short duration. They include temporary drooping of the upper eyelid (5%) and brow (5%). Patients may also have temporary bruising at the injection site (5-10 days). A small number of patients will not see any improvements from their treatment. The lack of apparent improvement is usually because an inadequate number of units was initially injected.
Your dermatologist can help you determine whether Botox® would be appropriate for you.