Botox - Common Questions
What is it
Botox is a medicine that relaxes the facial muscles that cause wrinkles to help you look younger and more refreshed. It smooths the skin in areas of facial expression around your eyes, between your eyebrows (11 lines) and forehead lines.
How does it work
Botox reduces wrinkles caused by folding of the skin during facial expressions. These wrinkles caused by facial movements are called “dynamic” wrinkles. Dr. Vennemeyer injects Botox very precisely into the specific muscles to relax them. It takes several days for the medicine to begin working. Significant effect from the Botox is evident at about 5-7 days after treatment. The effects of Botox last about 3-4 months.
When is it used
The most popular area to use Botox is between the eyebrows (glabella) to treat frown lines or “11 lines.” This is great for people who look like they are angry or frustrated all the time, making them look happier. It has also been shown to improve mood and reduce depression. The effect is the same mechanism that causes you to feel better when you force yourself to smile. This tricks your brain into releasing feel-good chemicals, helping you look and feel happier!
Botox reduces squint or smile lines around the eyes and has the effect of opening up the eyes for a brighter look. This effect can be complemented by Botox under the tail of the eyebrows which can improve the arch of the brow, open up the eyes further and give a mild brow lifting effect.
Dr. Vennemeyer frequently treats the forehead with Botox to smooth out lines. He generally recommends relaxing the central and upper forehead, keeping some muscle working above the eyebrows to keep the brows elevated and youthful looking.
What are the advantages
Botox is a very easy procedure that you can have during a lunch break and then return to work. Dr. Vennemeyer is known for being a skilled injector, making treatments very comfortable for patients. With a knowledgeable professional like Dr. Vennemeyer, there is a very low risk of side effects.
What are the disadvantages
Botox has few disadvantages. The most common complaint is that it only lasts 3 months—patients wish the effects were permanent. The best way to avoid losing the benefits of your Botox is to schedule your treatments with Dr. Vennemeyer every 3 months to avoid it wearing off.
What are potential side effects
Botox is very safe. The most common side effect is very mild bruising, but most of our patients do not bruise. Dr. Vennemeyer reduces this risk by pre-icing the skin. This also makes the treatment more comfortable, especially when combined with use of the special, extra thin needles at Vennemeyer Plastic Surgery (smaller than the needles used by the vast majority of injectors).
Mild swelling at the Botox injection site is typical for 10 minutes after the treatment. Like any medication, the list of potential side effects is extensive. In reality, we see very few. A small number of people report mild headaches, weakness or flu-like symptoms for a few days after injections.
Because it is a muscle relaxer, Botox should not be used in people who have neurologic conditions that cause muscle weakness.
What is the typical recovery time
You can go back to your regular activities soon after Botox treatments. You can meet friends, go out to dinner, go shopping the same day. We recommend not laying flat for 4 hours after injections to avoid the medicine spreading too far. Also, avoid strenuous exercise for at least 12 hours to reduce your risk of bruising, swelling and excessive spread of the medicine.