Cosmetic Botox — is it right for me?

Back in 1987, two Vancouver doctors made an accidental discovery that would revolutionize cosmetic surgery.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers frequently used a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin to treat muscle spasms in the eye. One day, a patient happened to mention that the injections made the wrinkles in her forehead disappear. Dr. Carruthers shared this discovery with her husband, a cosmetic surgeon, and Botox was born.

Today, Botox is the leading non-surgical treatment in the United States, with over four million people undergoing the procedure for cosmetic purposes every year. Thanks to her minimally invasive and highly effective treatment, Dr. Carruthers herself jokingly claims that she “hasn’t frowned since 1987”.

So how does Botox work, and is it right for you?

How Botox works

When you make a facial expression, such as frowning or smiling, nerve impulses make the small muscles beneath your skin contract. This causes creasing on the surface of your skin, which eventually leads to wrinkles — hence the terms ‘frown’ lines and ‘laughter’ lines.

Botox is typically injected around the eyes, lips, forehead, and neck, where wrinkles are most common. It works by blocking the nerve impulses that cause muscle contractions and effectively paralyzing the muscles in these areas. Without this muscle movement, the skin doesn’t crease, the wrinkles become less apparent, and further wrinkling is prevented.

Will I benefit from Botox?

If you’re a healthy adult between the ages of 18-65, Botox can help you to reduce the signs of aging, enhance your appearance, and improve your confidence.

Botox is most effective when used as an early preventative treatment before wrinkles have had a chance to deepen, which is why we’re seeing an increasing number of patients in their 20s and 30s at Madden Dental. However, people of all ages will see a noticeable reduction in skin wrinkling with Botox.

Botox can also improve the overall structural appearance of the face. Some people find that they have a noticeable ‘bulkiness’ to their face, or an apparent imbalance or asymmetry in the facial muscles, both of which can be corrected with targeted Botox injections.

What results can I expect from Botox?

You should begin to notice the effects of Botox around 2-4 days after your treatment. Depending on the location and purpose of your treatment, you should see wrinkles smoothing or muscles appearing to balance out. These results will continue to develop over the following month and will typically last for around six months.

Is Botox safe?

Initially, Botox treatment caused quite a stir because botulinum toxin is, in fact, a poison — the most potent poison known to man, to be specific! However, while that does sound alarming, cosmetic Botox is injected in such small concentrations that it is considered safe for almost everybody when administered by an experienced practitioner.

As with most medical procedures, there are people for whom Botox may not be suitable. This includes those with neuromuscular disease, autoimmune disease, active infections, or facial injuries, as well as pregnant or nursing women. If in any doubt, consult your physician and discuss your condition with your Botox provider before undergoing the procedure.

What are the side effects?

Botox is generally well-tolerated, and most people experience few side effects if any. These might include numbness, headaches, nausea, and mild bruising or swelling, all of which typically resolve themselves quickly. Complications are infrequent, but you can discuss any concerns with your provider before proceeding.

Does Botox hurt?

Botox is generally painless, but some people do find the injections to be slightly uncomfortable. However, as Dr. Madden’s patients often tell her, the results far outweigh any discomfort!

More questions about Botox?

Dr. Karisha Madden is one of Bellaire’s most trusted cosmetic dentistry and Botox providers. She and her team at Madden Dental are ready to answer all of your questions about Botox, so call now on (713) 667 8080 to schedule a consultation.