What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable solution used to temporarily relax muscle movement, reducing wrinkle formation in the face. Facial expressions cause muscles contractions that over time create more permanent visible lines and wrinkles. You may have heard of wrinkles in motion (visible while we are making facial expressions) and wrinkles at rest, these are the lines etched in our skin that remain even after we’ve relaxed our face. Areas like crows feet and the infamous “11” line between the eyebrows commonly develop wrinkles first. Expression lines can have some negative impacts with the way we are perceived like looking tired or angry. Or in the way we perceive oneself, as looking older than we actually are.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox works by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscle so the muscle can no longer contract. Once the neurotoxin is injected into muscle it slowly takes effect over the next few days up to a week. It works temporarily, lasting on average for 3 months although some patients have longer or shorter derations.
Where is it Injected?
Botox is FDA approved to be treat crow’s feet, frown lines and lines on the forehead. It is used in other areas “off label” to help with upper lip lines, bands in the neck, and corner of the mouth for instance. There are other areas too and treatment areas continue to expand. We typically treat common approved areas only.
When Should I Start Having Botox?
This is a good question, so should you start before a wrinkle starts or after you’ve developed one? That is a personal choice but the average age to start is in your 30’s when lines are becoming more noticeable. Preventative Botox has become more popular for individuals starting in their 20’s. The thought is this is a preventative measure for development of future wrinkles. The good news is even someone starting later say in their 50’s can see a marked difference. It is important to remember though keeping up on a regular treatment schedule does produce the best long term outcomes.
Who is a Good Candidate for Botox?
Almost anyone is a good candidate for the treatment and this includes both men and women. In fact the number of men seeking treatment or “Brotox” has grown over the years as men become more comfortable with aesthetic treatments. There are some contraindications to be aware of, some patients are hypersensitive to botulinum toxin or components used in the injection. It’s important to disclose any allergies you may have and if you are pregnant.
A common question is, is Botox safe being it’s derived from botulinum toxin? The answer is yes, there are minimal risks or side effects to Botox injections. Clinical trials have been performed proving it’s safe and Botox remains the number one non-invasive cosmetic treatment performed today. What patients should be aware of is the qualification of the person doing the injections. Dr. Michalak has been doing Botox for many years and was one of the first dermatologists in the area to offer it. He is very experienced and still offers this and Xeomin to patients today. You can feel confident that Dr. Michalak along with his advanced healthcare team who all treat patients, will give you a safe, desirable outcome.
How Much Does Botox Cost?
Pricing for neurotoxins can get confusing because it can be charged by number of units or area. We charge by the unit and the average cost is $300 to $500 depending on how many areas are being treated. The company who sells Botox offer a great rewards program called Brilliant Distinctions, recently rebranded to the name Allie. We encourage patients to sign up for this, it’s free and accumulated points can be used for future Botox purchases or other products in their portfolio like the dermal filler Juvederm. We also have our own internal Botox week, done periodically so sign up for “specials” to be notified if you are interested.
How Do I Make My Appointment?
Appointments can be made by simply calling the office and scheduling. You can ask for a consultation if you are new to Botox, but most patients schedule with anticipation of having the treatment. You can expect the treatment to only take 15 minutes or so. It’s generally a quick easy in and out.