Botulinum Toxin / Neuromodulators
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin is commonly known by the trade names of Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin and is a medication that helps to relax the muscles of the face that cause dynamic wrinkling with facial expression. Excellent and comparable results can be obtained with all of these medications that reduce frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and crows feet among other things. Botulinum toxin can be used for many indications and can be used to shape and lift the brow, improve facial symmetry, and even reduce underarm sweating.
How do botulinum toxin injections work?
Botulinum toxin injections are injected beneath the skin to help relax muscles. The medication is taken up by the nerve terminals in your muscles over the first 4-6 hours, and the muscles then gradually relax and reduce how strongly they contract. Patients will start to see results within the first few days but the maximum results are seen at 1-2 weeks after treatment. The results last for 3-4 months but can last even longer depending on the dose injected, the strength of the muscles, and how regularly someone receives treatment. Over time, many people only need treatment 2-3 times per year to maintain their results.
The most common indications for botulinum toxin injections include:
- Frown lines (“11 lines”)
- Forehead lines
- Crows feet (smile lines around the eyes)
- Ptosis (where one eye is smaller than the other)
- Squinting of the eyes with smiling
- Brow lifting and brow shaping
- Bunny lines (wrinkles on the nose)
- Perioral lines (radial lip lines)
- Gummy smile (for excessive gum show above the upper teeth)
- Facial slimming and contouring for square jaws (creates a softer more tapered face shape)
- Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
- Neck banding
- Armpit sweating (to reduce arm pit stains and sweat marks)
Will Botulinum toxin injections make me look frozen or unnatural?
There is definitely an art to rejuvenating the face and preventing wrinkles with botulinum toxin injections. Some patients desire minimal movement and others want to have more facial movement and expression. Dr. Lee will analyze your facial muscles and wrinkles and come up with a treatment plan that suits your aesthetic goals and personal preferences.
The art of botulinum toxin injection rests in where and how much medication is injected around the face, as well as the proper injection technique to help prevent drooping of the eyelids or brows. If not injected carefully, botulinum toxins can cause facial asymmetry or result in unnatural movements or appearances. This is why it is important to check the credentials, experience, and training of the person you are entrusting with your face.
Am I too young to have botulinum toxin injections?
Many people wonder when is the ideal age to start botulinum toxin injections. They may have people tell them they are too young to start treatment. However, many people nowadays do not want to develop extensive wrinkles and signs of aging before they start thinking about how to reverse the signs of aging. Many people want to prevent the signs of aging from forming in the first place, and botulinum toxin injections are an excellent way to prevent those lines and wrinkles from forming and maintain healthy glowing skin.
Dr. Lee likes to jokingly say: “Do you want to wait until you have skin cancer before you start using sunscreen, or would you rather use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer in the first place?” In a similar fashion, botulinum toxin injections help refresh your appearance and are a way of preventing the signs of aging now before the wrinkles can form. Many dermatologists and aesthetic physicians begin getting botulinum toxin injections in their mid to late 20’s to keep their skin looking its absolute best.
How does Dr. Lee customize this treatment?
Dr. Lee starts by carefully analyzing your facial anatomy including your brow and eyelid position, any subtle facial asymmetries, and where you form wrinkles with facial expression. He then develops a treatment plan to give you the best results possible and will customize and help you prioritize based on your budget. He will develop a dosing and injection pattern that helps you maximize your results while maintaining a natural and refreshed look.
If you ever feel you need any touchup treatments, Dr. Lee will discuss your results at least 1-2 weeks after the procedure and advise you whether you would benefit from any further treatment.Subtle touch-up treatments can help perfect your results and ensure that they meet your aesthetic preferences.
He also works with you to discuss if other surgical or non-surgical treatments might further enhance your results and achieve your goals. Many patients can benefit from dermal filler injections, chemical peels, or laser skin rejuvenation to improve the facial contours, texture, tone, and overall quality of your skin. Other patients, require an upper blepharoplasty, brow lift or ptosis repair to be able to achieve their best results with botulinum toxin injections.
What is the “downtime” after botulinum toxin injections?
Botulinum toxin injectionshave virtually no downtime and involve minimal discomfort. Occasionally, there can be very minor bruising that typically resolves within a couple days.
Patients are instructed not to rub their eyes or massage their face for the first 6 hours following botulinum toxin injection. This helps prevent unwanted spread of the toxin that could cause a mild and transient droopy eyelid or double vision. If you have any concerns after your treatment, we will gladly answer any questions.
Why do patients prefer an oculofacial plastic surgeon for botulinum toxin injections?
Many patients appreciate that an oculofacial plastic surgeon can discuss and offer the best treatment options for them, both surgical AND non-surgical. Some injectors do not perform facial surgery so will recommend more and more injections when the most cost-effective and high-yield results would be achieved through surgery. Other surgeons may not be comfortable, experienced, or have modern training in performing full-facial rejuvenation with non-surgical procedures. Dr. Lee has taught residents and fellows around the country and lectured around the world on both cosmetic facial surgery as well as non-surgical facial rejuvenation. He aims to combine the best treatments to help his patients achieve their best and most natural-looking results. He will analyze your facial features with a trained and artistic eye and discuss how he can help you achieve your goals.
Does insurance cover botulinum toxin injections?
Botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic purposes are not covered by insurance, although certain other medical disorders can be treated through insurance. We work with our patients to choose treatments that match their lifestyle and financial situation. We also offer interest-free financing through our partnership with Alphaeon. Dr. Lee’s team will always provide an accurate and transparent estimate of treatment costs and will help you get the most benefit based on your aesthetic budget.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Take the first step toward achieving a refreshed appearance that matches your aesthetic goals. Schedule your consultation today to get started on your personalized botulinum toxin treatment plan. Dr. Bradford Lee works closely with you at every step to develop a procedure that matches your needs and expectations. Call us today to learn more about dermal fillers and how they can help you reach your goals.