Botox® Cosmetic FAQ

What is Botox?
Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin A, meaning there's no botulism risk when used properly. It works by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, thus softening the appearance of wrinkles.

How does Botox work?
Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscles can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. It is most often used on forehead lines, crow's feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox.

How is a Botox procedure performed?
Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment as well in order to reduce bruising.

How long do Botox results last?
The effects from Botox will last four to six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to re-appear and wrinkles need to be re-treated. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are being trained to relax.

What are the side effects of Botox?
Temporary bruising is the most common side effect of Botox. Headaches, which resolve in 24-48 hours, can occur, but this is rare. A very small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping. This usually resolves in three weeks. This usually happens when the Botox moves around so you shouldn't rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection or lay down for three to four hours post treatment.

Who should not receive Botox?
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a neurological disease should not use Botox. Since Botox doesn't work for all wrinkles, a consultation with a doctor is recommended.

Which facial wrinkles are most commonly treated with Botox?
The most common use of Botox injections is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles, such as: Frown lines between the eyebrows, crow's-feet (the lines that fan out from the corners of the eyes), and forehead furrows (the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows).

Can Botox be used on chin dimpling (orange skin)?
Botox is a great way to relax lines and dimples in the chin caused by hyperactive muscles, resulting in a smoother, fuller chin area. Botox relaxation in the chin can also help acne scars that might be accentuated by the muscle action in the chin. Low doses are used to treat this area.

Does Botox have other uses besides treating facial wrinkles?
Yes, in addition to the cosmetic procedures, which improve your appearance, botulinum toxin injections have also been used to treat conditions that affect how your body functions. Examples include:

  1. Cervical dystonia, a painful condition that causes the neck muscles to contract involuntarily 
  2. Lazy eye, caused by an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eye
  3. Hyperhidrosis , a condition in which  excessive sweating occurs even when the temperature isn't hot.
  4. Chronic migraine. If you experience migraines more than 15 days a month, botulinum toxin injections may help reduce headache frequency.
  5. Bladder dysfunction. Botulinum toxin injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.