BOTOX® Cosmetic (or other neurotoxins)
Perhaps no other non-surgical procedure has been as widely embraced by patients as BOTOX® Cosmetic, simply because it is relatively safe, simple, and it works so well. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a highly purified and diluted prescription medication that is injected into small muscles in the face to smooth the appearance of wrinkles and creases that make you look old or unapproachable. Many of our patients first come in because they say that their family or friends are asking them why they’re angry or concerned when they aren’t actually feeling that way.
By placing these injections into the muscles that are pulling on the skin to create the wrinkles, the muscle relaxes and the skin surface becomes smooth again. It is approved for the area between the eyebrows, but we find that it works very well for the “smile lines” at the corner of the eye, and sometimes even the small lines that appear around the lips with movement.
Who is a good candidate?
We think that starting to use BOTOX® Cosmetic early in life may help to prevent the deeply etched in lines that occur with aging. Therefore, we recommend starting BOTOX® Cosmetic in the thirties. The safety profile of this medication appears to be very wide so that complications are extremely rare. We also have observed that the frequency of the injections can get further apart with repeated treatment in some patients as the muscle stays relaxed longer.
How is the procedure performed?
In Alabama, only doctors can legally inject both BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers. We think this is a good requirement, because Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn have the knowledge of the intricate anatomy in order for the treatments to work the best. Many patients are fearful of the thought of an injection in the face. Most are pleasantly surprised when they experience NO pain because of our use of topical ointments to numb the skin and ice to prevent any swelling or bruising. The needle is tiny and often completely painless. The entire procedure can be done in as little as a few minutes.
What can I expect for results?
Most patients experience improvement in the appearance of the lines and wrinkles for four to six months following treatment. We like to retreat each area every four months in order to keep the muscles relaxed. But this can vary for each patient. The result of BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment should be to diminish the lines with movement but not completely “freeze” expression, which does not look natural. Like all cosmetic treatments, either surgical or non-surgical, the result should be undetectable. We strive to make all our patients look BETTER, NOT different!
Are there any potential complications?
Fortunately, complications are uncommon. If the medication is absorbed by the muscle that lifts the eyelid, it is possible for the eyelid to drop for a period of time. Medicated eye drops can improve this if it occurs. Once the BOTOX® Cosmetic wears off, the problem completely corrects itself and there is no permanent problem. Very few patients can experience a BOTOX® Cosmetic headache. However, much more commonly, patients who suffer from frontal migraine headaches can experience significant improvement in their migraine symptoms. This can be a great side benefit of using BOTOX® Cosmetic.