Botox: What is it? How Does it Help my Wrinkles?
Updated: Aug 27
Teresa Vanderboom, ANP-BC
Botox® Cosmetic is the brand name for the neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is a popular and effective cosmetic treatment that temporarily reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the face.
When Botox is injected into targeted muscles, it binds to nerve endings within the muscle and prevents the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This causes the muscle to remain in a relaxed state, which results in diminished wrinkles in the skin and gives the face a more youthful and relaxed look.
Botox is approved by the FDA for treating fine lines and wrinkles in three select areas of the face:
Frontalis muscle – responsible for the horizontal lines across the forehead
Orbicularis oculi muscle – responsible for “crow’s feet” along the outside edges of the eyes
Procerus and corrugator muscles – reponsible for the “elevens” between the eyebrows
The effects of Botox are temporary and usually last between 3 to 4 months, after which the body naturally breaks it down and the muscles begin to regain their normal activity. Should the effects be desired on a longer term basis, repeat injections will be necessary to maintain the desired results.
Botox injections should only be performed by a trained medical professional, and are generally considered safe when used appropriately. However, like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects. These should be discussed with your healthcare provider before undergoing treatment.
What are the Risks of Botox?
The safety and effectiveness for Botox are very well established, making it one of the most sought out treatments for fine lines and wrinkles. With results that can last up to four months or even longer for some people, it is an effective treatment. While side effects are rare, some of the potential risks of Botox include:
Spread to neighboring muscles: Botox works by paralyzing targeted muscles, but sometime it can spread to nearby muscles and cause unintentional weakness and effects such as such as drooping eyelids, facial asymmetry, or blurred vision.
Pain or discomfort: Some people may experience pain, swelling, bruising, or redness at the injection sites after receiving Botox.
Headache: Botox injections can cause headaches in some people, particularly in the first few days after treatment.
Nausea: Some people may experience nausea or flu-like symptoms after receiving Botox.
Allergic reactions: Rarely, some people may be allergic to the ingredients in Botox, which can cause symptoms like itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
How Much Does Botox Cost?
The cost of Botox injections is very specific to each patient, and is determined by how many areas of the face are being treated and the dosage (number of units) needed to achieve the desired result. To calculate your total cost, your provider will multiple your total number of units by the price per unit. In general, the average cost can range from $300 to $750. However, it is important to note that this is just an estimate and the actual cost can vary widely depending on the factors mentioned above.
How Long Does it Last?
The effects of Botox will begin to take effect in a few days, with maximal effect reached in about two weeks. You will enjoy these effects for several weeks, and by 8-10 weeks you will begin to notice the effects slowly start to wear off. By 3-4 months, you will be ready for your next treatment!
It is recommended that you keep your treatments on a regular schedule to maintain your results over time. By staying on a regular treatment schedule, your muscles will not have the chance to return to their natural state of full strength and movement. The Botox will then begin to last longer and you may begin to require lower dosing.
What Happens During a Botox Appointment:
Prior to any treatment, your provider will review your medical history and your goals to ensure that Botox is safe and appropriate for you. You will have the opportunity to learn about the treatment, including the possible risks as well as the expected benefits.
You will be asked to make various expressions so your muscles can be assessed. Photos will be taken and your face will be cleansed and marked with a temporary pen to determine your dose and cost of the treatment.
Should you decide to proceed, treatment will begin!
You will recline in a seated position in the treatment chair.
A fine-tipped needle will be used to inject small amounts of Botox into the areas marked on your face.
The number of injections and the amount of Botox used will depend on the specific area being treated and the desired result.
Each injection is usally very quick and relatively painless, with most patients describing a sensation similar to a pinprick or slight pressure.
After the injections are complete, you skin will be cleansed and a light soothing gel will be applied.
You may have small red bumps at the injections sites, but these will resolve in a matter of minutes.
You will be given post-treatment instructions.
A two-week follow up appointment will be scheduled. At that time, dose adjustments can be made if needed.
How Do I Know if Botox is Right For Me?
Botox is a very personal decision, and it's so imortant that you feel comfortable doing it. If you aren't sure or need more information, schedule a consultation and we can talk! There will never be any pressure, and during the consultation you can ask questions and find out what the cost will be. If you want to do a treatment at that time, we can do so if time allows. The key point is that you feel good with your decision, whatever it may be! If you live in Walpole or the neighboring towns of Medfield, Norwood, Sharon, Norfolk, Foxboro and beyond, I'd love to meet you!
Reach out to book your appointment to
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Call 617-383-4683 or use the link to book today!