Botox is a “neurotoxin used to correct lines that are formed from muscle contraction,” says Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York. The most common, widespread and safest wrinkle treatment option in the cosmetic world, this procedure carries very little risk. And because its effects are temporary, what extremely rare side effects might occur — such as ptosis (drooping) — will wear off.
If you’re considering Botox to remove wrinkles, talk to your doctor about all the risks, as well as the benefits you can achieve with the procedure. In the meantime, check out these easy-to-digest Botox facts will help you make a more educated decision about the popular treatment.
3 – The number of products available to effectively treat wrinkles. Botox, Dysport and a newer product that hasn’t yet gained wide approval, although Dr. Engler expects it to after sufficient testing and use, Xeomin are the three treatments available today. While there are some slight differences, patients can “reasonably consider them interchangeable,” says Engler. Each works by blocking signals sent from the nerves to the brain, stopping the contraction of muscles.
4 – The number of hours it is recommended to discard Dysport and Botox after the product has been reconstituted. This varies, and Engler agrees that it can remain suitable for up to a few weeks. Both products come in a vile, and your doctor must first combine it with a saline-type solution before it is suitable for injection.
50-100 – The number of units of Botox per vile. Engler says, “There are two important things all patients should know [before receiving an Botox treatment] – how many units they’re receiving [as opposed to injections] and how old the Botox is.” He makes the point of asking, “Would you want to pay the same for freshly constituted as you would for an older product?” While the Botox will likely be equally as effective, knowing the answer to this question will help you to be a more educated patient.
25-50 – The number of units of Botox Engler gives in one treatment. There are some exceptions. “Men, larger people and people with larger muscles,” he says, for example, may require more.
45-50 – The median age range of Engler’s Botox patients.
5-45 – The number of minutes Engler’s Botox treatments take. This may seem like a wide range, but the duration of a treatment depends on many things. The experience and skill of the injector; the schedule of the patient (some of Engler’s patients require in-and-out treatments); whether or not dermal fillers are being combined with the Botox treatment (this will make the process take longer); and how social you and your doctor are with one another.
2-5 – The number of days before results appear. “Smaller muscles, such as those on the side of the eyes, will show results faster,” says Engler. Results are gradual. As the Botox sinks into the muscles, their ability to transmit the messages signaling contraction will fade.
7 – The average number of days that will pass before the majority of patients see full results.
4-6 – The average number of months the effects of Botox will last, according to Engler. This will vary depending on the number of units you receive, the size of your muscles, as well as other factors. Carmen Kavali, M.D. of Atlanta’s Kavali Plastic Surgery and Skin Renewal Center estimates that the effects last from three to five months.
0 – The number of known, permanent, adverse side effects of Botox.