Botox injections continue to increase in popularity. In 2018, more than 7 million people got Botox injections, and that number is projected to grow even more. Younger and younger people are also turning to Botox to slow time when it comes to the aging process. Although Botox is most commonly used for cosmetic procedures, people with chronic pain conditions and genetic conditions can also benefit from Botox injections.

People like to get Botox injections because they are safe, minimally invasive, and an affordable way for the average person to look and feel their best. Botox is most useful for what is called “active” wrinkles, which are the creases and lines that form when a person frowns, smiles, or laughs. This repeated contracting of the facial muscles can break down the skin’s integrity over time and lead to deeper-set wrinkles.

When a person gets Botox injections, the muscles are effectively paralyzed. This prevents the skin from moving, and thus, wrinkling. It is through this process that a person can slow the aging process. So while Botox is useful for eliminating the appearance of active wrinkles, it is also helpful for preventing new wrinkles from forming or previously established lines from getting worse. So, what exactly is Botox, and who should get Botox injections for wrinkles? Read on to learn more about this popular cosmetic procedure.

Contrary to myth and urban legend, people who get Botox are not injecting a live, dangerous toxin into their face. It is true that Botox is made from the botulinum toxin, but the botulinum toxin is comprised of different strains. Botox is made out of certain strains of this toxin that are reconstituted into a safe, FDA-approved, and effective material with a proven track record of results.

When a board-certified plastic surgeon injects Botox, they are placing the material into certain, specific areas of the face to achieve a particular result and “look” that the patient wants. Botox is used to effectively paralyze the delicate facial muscles that repeatedly contract and relax, and cause wrinkles and fine lines. Botox is highly useful for eliminating the appearance of active wrinkles since it prevents the underlying muscle contraction that is responsible for their presence. For deeper-set lines that are present even when a person’s face is relaxed, Botox cannot eliminate their appearance. But, Botox can paralyze the underlying muscles, and prevent these wrinkles from getting any worse. Botox injections can also smooth-out the face’s appearance and can minimize the appearance of deeper lines and wrinkles.

A Botox injection procedure will take about one hour in a doctor’s office. Botox is priced per unit, and the number of units a person needs will depend on many different factors. The area a person wants to be treated, the size of the area, and if they have had Botox injections before will influence the number of units a patient will need. People who’ve had prior Botox injections will typically require more units than someone new to the procedure.

Some people have a lower pain tolerance threshold than others, and while Botox itself is not painful, the injection of a needle into the delicate facial skin can hurt. Patients may also feel a “fullness” or stretching as the material is injected into the face, but this part of the procedure usually doesn’t hurt. A doctor can apply a topical anesthetic, or ice the facial area before an injection to prevent pain.

After a procedure, there may be bruising or swelling at the injection site. For most patients, this side effect will clear up within a few days to one week. When a doctor injects Botox, they are putting it into very small, delicate, and highly targeted areas. Although it can be tempting to massage or rub a sore or swollen injection site, it is critical that patients do not apply any pressure to these areas. This can cause the material to leave the target site, and spread. If this happens, the face can form an uneven, droopy, or crooked appearance. Strenuous exercise can also have the same effect. For at least 24 hours after a Botox procedure, the patient should not rub the injection site, or participate in strenuous activity.

Once a board-certified plastic surgeon injects Botox, it can not be removed. The effects will be noticeable within ten to fourteen days after an injection, and all bruising or swelling should be gone at this point. The results will also last anywhere from three months to six months. After the Botox wears off, the patient will not notice any unsightly rebound effects. Instead, their face will return to exactly how it looked right before they had Botox injected. It is safe for patients to get Botox again.

For cosmetic procedures, Botox is useful for reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the forehead, between the eyes, the sides of the eyes, the chin, nasolabial folds, and the neck.

The majority of patients who get Botox are in their late thirties to mid-forties. However, it is safe to start getting Botox injections as early as the late twenties to early thirties when wrinkles first begin to appear. Getting Botox at a younger age can prevent wrinkles from getting worse.

Doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurses can inject Botox after taking a course and becoming certified. However, it is ideal for patients to get Botox injections from an experienced, board-certified facial and reconstructive surgeon. A qualified and skilled plastic surgeon will know exactly where to inject Botox, and how much to insert to give the patient the desired effect. Getting Botox injections from someone who is not experienced or skilled can be risky, and patients can find that an inexperienced practitioner has given them an unbalanced appearance. Remember, once Botox is injected, it cannot be removed. An unfortunate result can mean waiting up to six months for the face to return to its normal state.

If you want to experience the age-reversing power of Botox, you’ll want to contact an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon. Contact the office of board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Doctor Binder today for safe and effective Botox injections for wrinkles.