Botox

Botox is a procedure done to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, forehead and mouth. The aging process, along with genetics and environmental factors, causes our skin to lose elasticity, our muscles to contract, our brows to furrow and collagen production to become reduced. Botox corrects these issues through injections that contain purified protein from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This protein is then synthesized in a laboratory to create a safe injectable fluid that reduces muscle activity by temporarily paralyzing the muscles to create smoother facial appearance.

Who is a good candidate for Botox?

Those with horizontal forehead creases, laugh lines, crows feet and frown lines between the eyebrows are ideal candidates for Botox because the treatments address these issues directly. Men and women who are in overall good health can undergo Botox, however if you’ve had an infection in the area being treated, you are not eligible for this procedure. Finally, you cannot undergo Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What is the recovery process after Botox like?

Immediately following your Botox treatment you may experience bruising or swelling at the injection sites. This is normal and will subside within a day or two. Some people notice light bleeding or redness at the injection site. This is only a cause for concern if the bleeding becomes heavy and the redness does not disappear after 24 hours. In this case, contact your doctor immediately.

Botox treatment requires no sutures, incisions or bandages. Because of this, you can go about your day once it’s over. Be careful not to rub the injected areas or lie down for about 12 hours so that the Botox solution doesn’t migrate. You also mustn’t smoke as you heal because smoking hinders the body’s natural ability to process oxygen and blocks proper blood flow.

What to look for in this type of surgeon?

Botox must be done by a certified, experienced professional. This can either be a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist. The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS) is the only recognized body in the country. Your surgeon must be a member of CSAPS and certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dermatologists must be members of the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA).

There are three questions you can ask potential surgeons and dermatologists to see if they’re capable of administering your Botox procedure:

1. Where did you receive your surgical or dermatological training?

2. How long have you been in practice?

3. How many Botox treatments have you performed?

What happens during a Botox procedure?

The treatment typically takes 10-30 minutes to complete. If you are sensitive or nervous, your surgeon can give you topical or local anesthesia or a sedative. However, Botox is usually performed without anesthesia since it is a relatively painless procedure. People report nothing more than a slight pinch at the injection site.

Once your skin has been cleansed, Botox will be injected with a fine needle into the targeted areas:

Crows feet: Your surgeon will inject three doses of treatment into the muscle that frames the side of the eye (orbicularis oculi). He/she will then repeat the process on the other eye.

Frown lines: Your surgeon will administer five injections into the forehead muscles. The first injection is done into the pyramid-shaped muscles that extend from the lower part of the nose to the forehead between the eyebrows (procerus muscles) and the remaining four are done in the pyramid-shaped muscle near the eye (corrugator muscle).

Once injected, the purified toxin contained in the Botox solutions blocks the signals that are sent from the nerves to the muscles resulting in their ability to contract. As soon as the muscles are fully relaxed, the crows feet and frown lines disappear.

Most medications and treatment serums are available in a cheaper generic version. Generally, these versions are approved and safe. However, there are generic versions of Botox available but they are not approved by Health Canada. Moreover, no studies have been done to support the use of these generic versions of Botox.

This is a common myth. People assume that because Botox paralyzes the muscles that they will not be able to move their face properly afterwards. This is simply not true. Botox does not limit your ability to make facial expressions.

The results from Botox are visible right away, usually within 24-48 hours. As for the effects, those last up to four months, at which point you can schedule further treatments.

Besides its cosmetic uses, Botox has medical uses as well. It can be used to treat excessive underarm sweating, uncontrollable blinking, chronic migraines, overactive bladder, misaligned eyes, and severe contractions of the neck and shoulder muscles.