To reduce the appearance of wrinkles, some people choose to have injections (shots) of botulinum toxin. These injections are often called by their brand names, such as Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin® or Jeuveau™. The injections relax certain muscles in the face, and certain wrinkles become less noticeable for a period of time.
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by facial muscles that move when you smile, laugh, and squint. These are often around the lips, on the forehead and between the eyebrows. They are also the “crows’ feet” at the corner of your eyelids. Everyone is born with dynamic wrinkles. As you age, these wrinkles get deeper and easier to see. Botulinum toxin can be used to make these dynamic wrinkles less noticeable.
Very fine lines and wrinkles are formed when collagen in the skin starts to thin. Collagen is protein just beneath and within deep skin layers. Aging and sun damage cause collagen thinning. It makes the skin on your face stretch and sag, creating fine wrinkles. Botulinum toxin does not erase wrinkles, but it could smooth them. However, there are other ways to reduce their appearance.
How does botulinum toxin (Botox) work?
Botulinum toxin is produced by a specific type of bacteria. In higher amounts, it can be poisonous. However, only small, weaker doses of botulinum toxin are used to reduce facial wrinkles.
When botulinum toxin is injected, it blocks certain nerve signals that make muscles contract. The muscles relax, reducing unwanted wrinkles. This effect lasts about 3–6 months. After that, the muscles move again, and wrinkles come back.
When you have botulinum toxin injected, we reduce the discomfort with a vibration bed and a vibration tool on the injection site. Then we will inject the medicine into specific facial muscles. This only takes a few minutes.
Within the first week of your treatment, you should notice your muscles begin to relax and fewer facial lines and wrinkles. This effect wears off in about 3–6 months.
While botulinum toxin injections may help, they sometimes cause side effects or other health problems. Common side effects include:
• Eye redness, tearing, or irritation.
• Redness or bruising in the injection area. This is more likely to happen if you take aspirin or blood-thinning medicine.
• Drinking alcohol 24 hours before treatment also increases redness and bruising.