Frequently Asked Questions About Botox®
Botox® (medically known as botulinum toxin type A) is a natural, purified protein used to treat overactive muscles and sweat glands. Botox® was first used in the late 1980’s to treat optic muscle disorders such as “lazy eye.®”
Botox® is now FDA-approved to treat wrinkles and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
✦ Both Dysport and Botox® are forms of botulinum toxin type A
✦ Both products have been used in Europe for almost 20 years to treat certain types of muscle disorders
✦ Botox® received FDA approval for cosmetic use in the United States in 2002. Dysport recently received FDA approval
✦ Both products are safe and effective in the treatment of wrinkles on the face
✦ Dysport is a smaller molecule, so the units are different than Botox® (i.e., 20 units of Botox® equal 60 units of Dysport)
✦ Dysport works faster (in only 1-3 days vs. 4-7 for Botox®) and has FDA approval for a four month duration (vs. 3-4 months for Botox®)
✦ Dysport is a better value per unit than Botox®
Absolutely, as long as you receive true Botox® (made exclusively by Allergan Inc) and have it administered by a well-trained clinician. In fact, because Botox® is such a safe, quick (the procedure usually takes only 10-15 minutes), easy, effective, and relatively affordable treatment, it is now easily the most popular medical cosmetic procedure in the country. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2007 there were roughly 4.6 million Botox® procedures performed in the United States alone. That is more than 12,600 procedures every day, or roughly 1 every 7 seconds!
Botox® treats overactive muscles by blocking the signals that tell those muscles to contract. This can be done partially or totally, depending on the desired effect. The effects of Botox® are temporary and typically last between 3-4 months.
Typically not, though the most common side effect is minor bruising in the treated area. For a full list of potential side effects, you should have a consultation and review an informed consent form.
Yes, Botox® is a highly effective treatment to smooth wrinkles and drastically reduce (typically by 90% or more) excessive sweating.
Photo courtesy of BotoxCosmetic.com
If your Botox® treatment is administered properly by a highly-trained clinician, you will still be able to make expressions. Depending on the area treated, it may be appropriate to only weaken the muscle movement. You can discuss this with your clinician prior to treatment.
The vast majority of clients are extremely happy with the results of a Botox® treatment. The most common comment made by friends and family of clients after receiving Botox® is that they appear to be more “rested.”
Botox® is injected with a small needle in tiny amounts to specific areas. Botox® is usually sold to clients by the unit.
The number of units necessary for an effective treatment varies, both by the individual and the area treated. Men usually need a few more units than women to achieve the same effect. At Evolutions, it is common to use 20-24 units of Botox® for the glabellar region (the frown lines), 10-14 units of Botox® for the forehead, and 10-14 units of Botox® for the peri-orbital area (“crow’s feet”®). If you have had a Botox® in any of these areas and have received significantly more units, you may have received more Botox® than is necessary for an effective treatment.
For wrinkle treatments, the effects of Botox® typically last 3-4 months. However, with repeated treatments, the effects may last up to 6 months. When treating excessive sweating, results normally last 6 or more months.
Though both are commonly used to treat wrinkles, Botox® treats the cause of the wrinkle (the overactive muscle) whereas dermal fillers are used to treat the symptom (the wrinkle itself). Often times both Botox® and dermal fillers can be used in conjunction with each other to improve the overall result.
The skill level of the administering clinician is very important. There is an artistic element involved with Botox® injections in order to ensure that the client achieves effective wrinkle reduction while still maintaining a natural look. Also, if a clinician is not highly-trained, they may need to inject more Botox® to get the same effect. Thus, sometimes an attractive per unit price may end up costing you more money.
Evolutions’ owner and medical director, Dr. Terry Perkins, is one of the country’s foremost experts on Botox®. He was selected to be one of only 16 physicians in the United States to evaluate Botox® in the FDA study that led to its approval for cosmetic uses. Dr. Perkins has performed thousands of Botox® injections and has pioneered the threading technique for maximum effectiveness. Furthermore, all of the injecting clinicians at Evolutions have been personally and extensively trained by Dr. Perkins on facial anatomy, Botox® theory, optimal injection locations/techniques, and practical application.