Why use Botox?
Botox can enhance your appearance by softening lines of expression (aka wrinkles) around the eyes and face. It can also be used medically to treat various types of muscle spasms.
How Does it Work?
When Botox is injected into a muscle, it weakens the muscle. Anatomically, our facial muscles exist under the facial skin. When the muscle contracts during facial expression, the skin moves with the muscle and a crease is formed over time. Normally this is not a problem, but as we age, the skin thins and the elastic property of skin diminishes. So, with each expression, a line starts to form which gets deeper and deeper with time. Eventually, a wrinkle forms. The upper face is the best example of this process, as most of the wrinkles in this region occur as a direct result of muscle contraction.
So, when Botox is injected and the muscle is weakened, the skin doesn’t crease and as a result, a wrinkle does not form. This preventative process has been established in an identical twin study. One twin received Botox starting in her mid-thirties while the other did not. A decade later, there was a noticeable difference in the presence of wrinkles between the twins, demonstrating the preventative action of Botox . (Long-term effects of botulinum toxin type A (Botox) on facial lines: a comparison in identical twins. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2006 Nov-Dec;8(6):426-31).
Commonly asked questions:
If I get Botox, will I look frozen or expression-less?
Not if it is done properly. If Botox is injected by an experienced practitioner, the dose and distribution can be controlled so you get a softening of the lines of expression but not a frozen appearance. This is the real goal of Botox injections.
Where can Botox be injected?
- Glabella (the vertical lines between the brows that appear when you frown). This is perhaps the most common area of injection. When this area is injected, the frown lines relax and soften.
- Forehead. When you raise your eyebrows, you see horizontal lines running across the forehead. When injected well, the horizontal lines that run across the forehead will soften and in most cases disappear while allowing you to still move your eyebrows.
- Crow’s Feet. These are the smile lines that form around the corners of your eyes. They form from the contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle. Repeated contraction of this muscle leads to fine lines and wrinkles along the lower eyelid and around the corners of the eye. When treated with Botox, the lines and wrinkles are softened and the transition to permanent lines and wrinkles around the eyes is prevented.
- Brow Lift. A small area along the end of the eyebrow has a muscle that pulls the end of the eyebrow down. When this segment is injected, the tail of the brow can raise 2-4 mm giving the appearance of a brow lift
- Downward Turning Corners of the Mouth. A small muscle that inserts into the corner of the mouth called the depressor anguli oris muscle is partly responsible for turning down the corners of the mouth. A small amount of Botox into this muscle can help turn the corners up, decreasing the sad look caused by this muscle.
- Facial Asymmetries. Patients suffering from facial nerve disorders resulting from tumors or Bell’s Palsy can be helped by strategically treating different facial muscles to improve the balance of the face.
- Treatment of Migraine Headaches. Certain varieties of migraine headaches have been shown to improve with the proper placement of Botox in certain muscle groups.
How long does it take for Botox to start working?
Botox takes anywhere from 1-3 days to start working and takes approximately 2 weeks to reach peak activity.
How long does Botox last?
The typical duration of Botox is between 3-5 months. The duration of Botox depends on the strength of the muscle and the dose used during injection. Each patient has a specific dose that is ideal to achieve the desired effect.
What are the side-effects?
Like anything, Botox has potential side-effects. Botox has been shown to be very safe when injected by an experienced physician. Common side effects such as eyelid ptosis (the most common side effect), brow droop, or asymmetries are possible. Side effects are short lived and disappear as the drug loses its effect.
Contact Walla Walla Eye Center today to set up your appointment.