Botox can be used for cosmetic or medical purposes. The cosmetic use of Botox helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, mostly on the forehead and around the eyes. Botox can also be used around the mouth and on other areas of the face.
Physicians who perform botox must be more careful when applying around the mouth, because the anatomy becomes much more complicated below the nose. If the procedure is not performed carefully, it can interfere with a patient’s speech.
How Botox Works
Botox works very well to relieve forehead lines and wrinkles around the eyes, and getting a Botox injection is simple and fairly painless. While most states allow doctors, physician assistants and nurses to perform the procedure, Indiana is one of the few states that allows aestheticians to inject Botox.
As a physician, I use a very small insulin needle to administer small injections along the forehead, which relaxes the muscles. Wrinkles are caused by low-level muscle contraction and muscle tightness, so when we relax those muscles, the skin relaxes, and the wrinkles disappear.
Eventually, the muscles wake back up and the wrinkles return. The temporary effects from Botox last about three to four months. However, if you continue the treatment, you will see improvements in your wrinkles over time because the muscles weaken from lack of use.
One of the medical benefits of cosmetic Botox in the forehead is it can relieve tension headaches. Tension headaches are caused by the contraction of the temporalis and frontalis muscles, so relaxing those muscles alleviates these headaches.
Should I Get Botox?
Deciding whether to get Botox is a personal choice, because it’s not a medical necessity. If you feel uncomfortable with the wrinkles in your forehead or around your eyes and you want to do something about it that’s not invasive or permanent, Botox is a great solution.
Botox is very affordable, but temporary. The effects last anywhere from 90 to 120 days and then disappear. If you receive the treatment and don’t like the effect, then you just won’t get another treatment and the effects disappear. But, if you like the effect, you need to get the treatment every 90 to 120 days to keep the wrinkles from returning.
Can I Overdo Botox?
Botox is difficult to “overdo,” because there are specific guidelines for how much to administer. When you see someone who’s had Botox injections on their whole face and they can’t make facial expressions or they’ve had other procedures done in addition to Botox (fillers, lifts, implants, etc.), they often look silly because it produces unnatural changes to the face.
To keep from overdoing Botox, physicians should follow the specific guidelines on administering Botox injections. Generally, they should use about four units per injection and between five and seven injections in the forehead. Some people may need more because they have very strong muscles in their forehead that create deep lines, but in normal circumstances physicians should stick to the specific guidelines.
If you’re considering a Botox injection and want to learn more about the risks and side effects of Botox, call me at (317) 343-0611 or come see me at Olp Family Medicine in Carmel.