There is simply no better dollar spent on anti-aging than money spent on treatments with neuromuscular blockers like Botox (onabotulinumtoxin A)and Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA). These medications can be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles( medical name-rhytids) or to prevent wrinkles from ever forming.
What causes the wrinkles that Botox/Dysport treat?
Skin creases when the underlying muscles contract. Wrinkles that form, for example, when you frown but go away when you stop frowning are called dynamic wrinkles. When we are younger the skin still creases but our youthful, more elastic skin flattens out completely when the muscle relaxes. As we age the skin loses it’s elasticity and repeated creasing of the skin causes permanent lines or static wrinkles.
How do these medications work to prevent or diminish wrinkles?
These drugs work at the nerve ending by preventing the release of Acetylcholine neurotransmitter vesicles thereby cutting off the communication between the nerve and the target muscle. When the muscle is not stimulated to contract the overlying skin will not crease and wrinkles will not form.
Your skin is always in a state of repair. New cells are being formed in the basal layer and slowly over about a month in adults rise to the surface and are sloughed off invisibly. You can repair your skin lines as well if the underlying muscle can be made to stop creasing the skin. This is how Botox/Dysport does its job. Combining regular chemical peels with the neuromuscular blockers will speed this process. The combination of Botox/Dysport and chemical peeling are a powerful “1-2” punch for taking years off of your face.
Is it possible to get bad Botox/Dysport treatments?
There are many millions of injections of Botox/ Dysport given per year worldwide. The results are most always very effective and pleasing to the patients. Like any medical procedure, your results can be largely dependent on the medical professional providing the service, the injector. These medications given in the wrong area or the wrong concentration can have adverse effects. Such problems include droopy eye brows or eye lids, blurred vision, and a crooked smile. In many medical spas or medical practices a nurse or a physician extender rather than a physician will be the injector. Most will have the training and expertise necessary to give you a great result without any complications. At London Medical Spa these treatments are always and only done by a board certified physician ensuring that the injections are done safely, correctly and to your satisfaction.
What parts of the face can Botox/Dysport be used?
Botox/Dysport may be used in many areas of the body in addition to the face. These medications can be used in the underarm area, feet and palms to help with excessive sweating. They can be used in areas of the face and posterior neck muscles to treat migraines, in the bladder to treat bladder spasm and urinary incontinence, on the neck to help with muscles spasms and even in the vocal cords to help with voice disorders. A surprising side effect of botulinium toxin treatment is the injections may also help with depression. A study published in the journal Emotions in 2010 suggested that if Botox takes away some part of the facial expression, some of the emotional experience may also be lessened. However, more research is needed to validate and expand upon this research work.
On the face Botox/Dysport can be used on the upper and lower face and neck but wrinkles most often treated are on the upper face: frown lines between the eyebrows, forehead worry lines, and crows feet around the outside of the eyes.
Neuromuscular blockers can be used to prevent or reduce the appearance of a gummy smile where too much of the gum shows when smiling. We can give you a liquid brow lift because neuromuscular blocker injections given in the proper areas can help elevate the outer eyebrow in some women to give them more of an arch. Neuromuscular blockers can help reduce the size of the Masseter muscle on the jaw and help reduce the size of a wide jaw often seen in some Asian patients and help to treat teeth grinding. They can help with the vertical lines around the mouth often seen in smokers and can be used to treat a down turned mouth by weakening the depressor muscles at the corners of the mouth.
How much does it cost to get Neuromuscular blocker treatment?
The cost varies with each patient. Some patients want multiple areas treated and some patients have stronger muscles needing more of the medication injected in each area. Generally the cost is between $200 and $600 per treatment.
How long do the treatments last?
After about 4-6 months the facial muscles, once weakened resume motion and the wrinkles caused by these muscles are again forming. It is best to receive repeat treatments every 3-4 months before the full effect has worn off so the wrinkles do?not form again. To get the most benefit from treatments they are best done three or four times per year.
Are the injections painful?
We use the tiniest needle to inject the medication and use ice on the injection site just before the injection to create a nearly painless treatment.
Is there any downtime after receiving Botox/Dysport injections?
The injections take about 15 minutes to perform in our office. Initially, the injection sites appear similar to mosquito bites but are hardly noticeable after 20 minutes. You may go right back to work or play and no one will know you had anything done. We recommend you not rub the areas injected and limit vigorous exercise for about 4 hours after the injections. On occasion, you may have a small bruise lasting about a week, but the bruise is easily covered with makeup.
When will I see results of my Botox/Dysport treatment and will anyone know I had the injections?
Dysport works a bit faster than Botox by several days. You may see results in 1-2 days with Dysport and about a week with Botox. The full effect of both medications take two weeks. Every patient is different, some needing more medication than others. On occasion it may require a touch up to add some more medication to give the desired result. We always wait two weeks before additional injections to allow enough time for the medication to take full effect.
When done properly, Botox/Dysport injections will not be noticeable to the untrained eye. You will just look refreshed and relaxed. Your stress lines will be diminished or removed but your face will still be able to show expression normally. Borrowing for an old orange juice commercial, I call it the fresh not frozen look.