How It Works
While soft tissue dermal fillers like Juvederm and Sculptra work by adding volume to sunken skin, Botox uses another approach.
Like those two substances, it is also injected. However, rather than acting as a filler, it impedes select facial muscles that cause worry lines, crow’s feet and frown lines.
Botox relaxes the muscles that cause the lines by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical triggers muscle contractions that end up causing wrinkles.
In reality, Botox causes temporary muscle paralysis and thus stops the muscles’ contractions.
The effect is not permanent. Your doctor will tell you to expect the effects of Botox to last from three to six months. You will notice its effects immediately or within 48 hours after injection, though often takes up to 2 weeks to reach the maximum results.
Your doctor may recommend supplementary creams or minerals to strengthen the effects of the Botox.
After examining your face and identifying the lines you’d like to lessen, Dr. Heffelfinger or Dr. Krein in Philadelphia will determine which muscles contribute to those lines. This is where he will inject the Botox.
Depending on your preference, he may use a local anesthetic or numbing cream. Some people experience a little discomfort or pain from the needles. However, today’s needles are very thin; many patients report little pain and describe the sensation to be much like a pin prick. Recently, the doctors have been using a “neural distraction” device, which many patients report helps them feel nothing at all.
Depending on the severity of the lines, your musculature, and other factors, your doctor will mark the areas he wants to inject, likely several points. He will then make a series of injections in these areas. The treatment seldom takes more than 20 minutes, and patients are able to return to work or their other activities immediately upon leaving the doctor’s offices.
Botox is safe for almost everyone, although your doctor will want to know your medical history before administering the treatment. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are usually advised to not receive the treatment during these periods. Patients with certain neuromuscular disorders may not be candidates.
There is really no recovery time with Botox treatment. We recommend avoiding strenuous activity on the day of injection.