Botox was unintentionally invented in the 1980s by Dr. Alan Scott. Dr. Scott was attempting to use botulinum toxin to treat patients with strabismus (crossed eyes). After administering the injections to patients with crossed eyes, they came back with the pleasant and unexpected side effects of wrinkle reduction. While Dr. Scott wasn’t thinking about the reduction of wrinkles, he is responsible for the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the world – Botox.
How does Botox work?
Botox is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure that works by using a very fine needle to inject a neurotransmitter under the skin. The neurotransmitter, botulinum toxin, temporarily paralyzes select muscles. The paralysis of the muscles allows them and their skin time to relax. This relaxation leads to the appearance of smoother skin.
Muscle mobility will return three to four months after the procedure. Many patients will undergo many Botox treatments over a long duration of time. With repetitive treatments, there is a higher chance that Botox will result in a permanent reduction of wrinkles because the facial muscles haven’t engaged in an activity for quite some time.
What can Botox treat?
Botox is used cosmetically in two primary ways: to smooth canthal lines (“crows feet”) and to reduce glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows). Botox can also be used to treat concerns patients have other than reducing wrinkles. According to Medical News Today, “Botulinum toxin is currently approved for the following therapeutic applications:
- Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids)
- Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms)
- Chronic migraine
- Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
- Detrusor (bladder wall muscle) overactivity – causing urinary incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Hemifacial spasm”
Learn more about other uses for Botox in this article by Time.
What does the recovery look like?
Because Botox is a non-surgical procedure, you can literally get a treatment on your lunch break and go right back to work. There will be small bumps at the injection sites and often times bruising but this typically goes away within the first week of your procedure as it settles in.
The targeted areas will slowly begin to lose mobility as the injected material has time to communicate with your facial muscles. It takes up to two weeks for your muscles to be incomplete paralysis and for the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to be greatly diminished.
What other procedures go along with Botox?
After receiving Botox, many patients will transition to other cosmetic procedures to permanently reduce fine lines and wrinkles. While Botox is effective for those with early signs of aging, there are some areas in the face that encourage deep wrinkles that can’t be easily remedied. Some patients decide to move forward with surgical procedures as signs of aging worsen.
Dermal fillers restore the volume in your face and/or hands with natural or synthetic material. The filler does exactly what it sounds like it’s supposed to – it fills in hollows, folds, and lines. By placing fillers under the skin, targeted wrinkles and lines will become smoother. This procedure results in fewer wrinkles, a more youthful appearance and lasts for about six months.
Facelifts are a surgical procedure used to remove extra skin from the face and neck. After removing the excess skin, the leftover skin is tightened and will result in fewer wrinkles. There are different types of facelifts depending on how much youth the patient would like to restore.
Forehead/brow lifts are similar to facelifts but target the upper half of the face rather than the entire face and neck. These procedures lift the natural sagging of forehead skin and smoothen out forehead wrinkles. Most forehead/brow lifts are combined with other procedures to also tighten the area around the eyes.
Interested in Botox?
Botox is a safe and quick way to reduce wrinkles without downtime. If you are introducing yourself to non-surgical cosmetic procedures, this is a great procedure to start with. At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, our Plastic Surgeons prefer to administer Botox themselves, which is uncommon amongst most practices. That means you can schedule a free consultation with one of our surgeons and have the procedure administered by the same surgeon you expressed concerns during your first meeting. Our level of experience is unmatched in Northern Arizona.
Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona provides state-of-the-art surgical and skincare to all residents in Northern Arizona with locations in Flagstaff, Sedona, Cottonwood, Kingman, and Lakeside. Feeling confident in yourself is important for everyone in all stages of life, every day. Learn more about the procedures we provide by visiting our website. Schedule a free Botox consultation by calling us at (928) 774-2300 or filling out our form.