Botox® (manufactured by Allergan, Inc) is neither novel nor a “cure-all” against gravity and time; yet Botox® can be markedly effective against prevention of wrinkles and preservation of beauty of the face. What is not ‘botoxed’ today will most definitely have to undergo surgery tomorrow as aging occurs. Botox injections are the most common cosmetic procedures done in the US, India and continue to rise in popularity.
The Esthetic Clinic is among the top most users of Botox in Asia. Dr. Debraj Shome has been an innovator in the use of Botox and has taught the injection technique to many other physicians via the Botox National Education Faculty program. All Botox injections at The Esthetic Clinic for Facial Appearances are handled byDr. Shome.
Botox is a purified protein which relaxes muscles and thereby decreases wrinkles. Tiny doses are injected below the skin to eliminate expression lines and wrinkles. Areas treated with Botox are the forehead, frown lines, crow’s feet, lips, chin, and neck bands. Many patients get the Botox injections over the lunch hour and return to their workplace with absolutely no sign of having been treated. The combined use of a tiny needle and a topical anesthetic makes Botox injections an entirely painless experience that requires no recovery at all. It takes Botox approximately 3 days to relax the wrinkles with the effect lasting from 3 to 6 months.
Botox is additionally used at The Esthetic Clinic to treat patients with spasms of the neck, eyelids and face. Also, it has proven to be very useful in treating excess sweating of the feet, hands and armpits. It has been used as an excellent treatment for Stress headaches and Migraine. Many insurance companies have even begun to participate in payment for Botox for treatment of headaches which are resistant to conventional therapy.
Frequently asked questions about Botox:
- Is Botox popular?
For the last many years, Botox has been the most popular doctor-administered cosmetic procedure, world over. More than 3 million Botox treatments are administered annually.
- Why is Botox so popular?
A number of factors are accountable for the popularity of Botox. Firstly, Botox results in a consistent beneficial improvement in appearance which is natural, noticeable and yet subtle. Botox has the highest rating of satisfaction for any cosmetic procedure performed. Botox does not require any time off work or out of the public eye for recovery. Finally, it has been used in millions of patients and proven to be safe.
- What is Botox?
Botox is a pure protein that has been isolated from a micro-organism. Many of the most important drugs that we use today like antibiotics, were first isolated from microorganisms.
- Is Botox new?
Botox has been in use on humans since the last 35 years but did not gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic indications until the year 2002. Botox was purified in the 1940’s. The FDA gave approval for it’s testing on human subjects in the 1970’s. In the year 1989, it was approved for clinical use in patients with a spasm of the neck, eyelid or face muscles, as well as the treatment of some forms of double vision. In 2002 the FDA approved Botox for its use in wrinkles between the eyebrows. Botox has also been approved for the treatment of excess sweating (called hyperhidrosis).
- Is Botox a type of filler?
Unlike fillers, Botox doesn’t fill in facial lines. Botox relaxes the muscles below the skin that cause undesirable wrinkles on the forehead and the area surrounding the eyes.
- How does Botox work?
In order for a muscle to contract, it requires a nerve signal. Botox blocks this very signal at the junction between a nerve and a muscle.
- Does Botox work on all wrinkles?
No, it does not. Botox works only on those wrinkles which are made worse or alter with contraction of the muscles of facial expression. Classical examples are the wrinkles between the eyebrows which become deeper with frowning. Other areas where Botox is commonly used to decrease wrinkles include the forehead and crow’s feet. Examples of wrinkles which do not respond to Botox are wrinkles caused by skin sagging in the neck or upper eyelids. Your facial plastic surgeon would be the best judge of which lines and facial wrinkles would benefit from Botox.
- Who should not use Botox?
Botox should not be used when there is an infection at the injection site and in persons known to have an allergy to Botox. Botox should be used cautiously in patients with a few rare neurological conditions namely: myasthenia gravis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Lambert-Eaton syndrome.
- Is Botox treatment only for rich and famous?
According to a recent survey, working women between the ages of 30 to 55 years who want to look a little less stressed are the commonest users of Botox. Those with an annual income of less than Rs.10, 00,000 per year make up 2/3rds of Botox users in India. Botox is among the least expensive facial plastic procedures.
- Who gives Botox injections at The Esthetic Clinic?
All injections are given by Dr. Debraj Shome, our facial plastic surgeon who has been internationally trained. A Facial Plastic Surgeon administering Botox ensures that consumers obtain the best possible results. Also, if Botox is unsuitable for a particular line or condition, being a plastic surgeon, Dr. Shome has other tools in his armamentarium to tackle those.
Technical aspects of Botox injections:
- What does a patient need to do to prepare for a Botox injection?
In most cases, no preparation is required. Certain over-the-counter medications like vitamin E, aspirin, glucosamine, Motrin and Ginkgo raise the chance of getting a bruise at the injection site. If you are taking these medications on the recommendation of your doctor, do so and continue to take the medication. If it is safe for you to stop for a couple of weeks before the injection, it will decrease your chance of bruising.
- Do Botox injections hurt?
Most of the patients report no or little pain. The smallest needle possible is used. Some patients also request that a numbing cream be used. The cream is available at our center and we can even prescribe it to you, if you prefer to put it on before you come for your appointment.
- What recovery is involved after Botox injections?
One of the great things about Botox injections is that it requires little or no recovery. Immediately after getting the injections, you will have a few small bumps at the sites where the injections were given. These bumps typically go off in an hour. Rarely a patient may get a small bruise. When it occurs, a bruise takes about 2 weeks to resolve.
- How long does it take before I notice the effects of Botox?
It takes about 3 days before anything is noticed and the result becomes stronger for about 2 weeks.
- How long does Botox last?
The first time you get the injections, the effect lasts for about 4-6 months. If you get them on a regular basis the frequency at which you need to get injections actually decreases. In our experience, patients typically require injections 2-3 times in the first year, 2 times the second year, and twice yearly thereafter.
- How much Botox is required to treat wrinkles?
For cosmetic purposes, this varies between about 25 and 100 units depending on the number of areas treated and the size of your facial muscles. For instance, treating the wrinkle between your brows requires about 30 units of Botox. If the forehead and crow’s feet are also treated, it will require 2-3 times more units of Botox. Men often have larger facial muscles and require slightly higher doses.
Safety questions about Botox::
Botox for headaches
- Can Botox help patients that suffer from headaches?
Yes. We have found that patients with both tension headaches and migraine headaches do benefit from Botox injections. We have even had success treating patients who have been resistant to other medications.
- Does the Esthetic Clinic treat headaches with Botox?
Yes, it does treat.
- How can Botox reduce headache symptoms?
In tension headaches, it probably works by relaxing the muscles. In migraine headaches, it probably works by prevention of the facial muscles from triggering headaches.
- Will my insurance company pay for Botox injections for headaches?
Some insurance companies have started to pay for this form of treatment. Many still do not. If you live in Utah or the surrounding area, you may call the center and our insurance authorization person can provide you with more information.
- How often are injections repeated for headaches?
Once every 3-4 months.
Botox for excess sweating hyperhidrosis:
- Can Botox help with excess sweating?
The Esthetic Clinic performs injections for sweaty armpits, and feet and has found it to be very effective in most patients.
- If Botox relaxes muscles why does it also reduce sweating?
Botox blocks the nerve impulse to the sweat glands so that the nerve cannot stimulate sweating. The sweat duct and the nerve lie more superficial as compared to the muscle, so the injections for sweating are performed in a more superficial location.
- How often do the injections need to be repeated for sweating?
The injections are usually repeated two times yearly.