BOTOX THERAPY: Treating Wrinkles Without Surgery
Our program in cosmetic surgery now provides Botox therapy for facial and neck wrinkles. This non-surgical method of reducing such wrinkles recently gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of "frown lines" and, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, has already become the fastest-growing cosmetic procedure.
Botox is a natural, purified protein that relaxes muscles by blocking nerve impulses. A few drops of it are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle that creates a wrinkle. When Botox is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area, and as a result, the muscle weakens.
As the muscle weakens, the skin overlying the muscle relaxes, and the wrinkles in the skin gradually soften and often disappear. Normal facial expressions are not affected by the treatments.
Patients usually see dramatic results within a few days. Existing frown lines, in most cases, disappear in about a week. Because the results are temporary, the therapy needs to be repeated after 3 to 6 months.
When Botox is first injected, a minor sting is initially felt for a few seconds. Once the injection is complete, there is usually no discomfort. Nearly all patients continue their routine daily activity immediately after the treatment.
Botox was first approved by the FDA in 1989 to treat two eye-muscle disorders — uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm) and misaligned eyes (strabismus). In 2000, it was approved to treat a neurological movement disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder contractions, known as cervical dystonia.
As an unusual side effect of the eye disorder treatment, Botox softened the vertical frown (glabellar) lines between the eyebrows that tend to make people look tired, angry, or displeased. But until this improvement was actually demonstrated in clinical studies, the manufacturer of Botox was prohibited from making this claim for it.
By April 2002, the FDA was satisfied by its review of studies indicating that Botox reduced the severity of frown lines for up to 120 days. The agency then granted approval to use the drug for this condition in people between the ages of 18 and 65.
Botox therapy is one of the safest available for reduction of wrinkles. In the amounts used for wrinkle therapy, the only possible side effects are temporary and localized to the area of injection. It should be noted that the degree of improvement is variable. Occasionally, there is no improvement, and another form of treatment may be required.
For consultations/appointments with our Botox specialists, please call 631-444-4666.