Botox is one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures in the United States. Women and men around the country seek out this treatment to help reduce the signs of aging and look their best.

What is Botox?

Botox injections are renowned around the world for their ability to reduce wrinkles and tighten the skin. The treatment can also be used to treat troublesome medical conditions such as an overactive bladder, neck spasms, or excessive sweating. At Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa, we use Botox to help our patients look younger and prevent signs of aging. But what is the magical substance and how does it work?

“Botox stands for Botulinum Toxin, a purified protein that helps relax and decrease the movement of muscles, according to Krishma Patel, PA-C, physician assistant at Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa. An injection of Botox into the face relaxes the tightened muscles and skin that causes wrinkles to form.  

Krishma says that this treatment is extremely effective in smoothing facial lines, stating, “It does this by decreasing communication between specific nerves and muscles.” The Mayo Clinic describes the science behind this effective medicine, “Botox injections block certain chemical signals from nerves, mostly signals that cause muscles to contract.” 

Krishma has a great description for how Botox works, “We tell patients it’s like putting your overacting muscles in a temporary time out.”

What Areas of the Face Can Botox Help?

what is botoxAging is the natural result of being alive, and with increasing age, comes wrinkles. Younger people can also experience wrinkles if they are sun worshipers or regularly smoke cigarettes. Wrinkles happen when the collagen in the dermis (skin layer) starts to break down. This can start to happen from the late 20s and upward. Botox can help slow the aging process. 

There is nothing bad about wrinkles and many people feel they are their badge of honor for aging well and gracefully. The introduction of Botox allowed for a less invasive treatment to gradually smooth out facial lines.

The most common areas that Krishma and her team treat include:

  • The glabella is that patch of forehead skin between the eyes and above your nose, commonly called the “11” wrinkle lines
  • Horizontal forehead lines in the frontalis muscle
  • Periorbital lines or crow’s feet are the wrinkles that stem from the outer corners of the eyes when you smile
  • Bunny lines form on the bridge of the nose when you scrunch up your nose like a bunny
  • Lipstick lines are those vertical wrinkles above and around the lips
  • Neck wrinkles are a dead giveaway that a person is aging; Botox can help

Some patients also have very dramatic “marionette lines,” those vertical wrinkles that go down from either side of your mouth toward your chin. They can get so deep they resemble the hinged jaw and mouth of a marionette puppet. Chin dimpling can also be reduced with Botox, but these types of wrinkles also may need a filler treatment as well.

What Types of Botox Are Available?

Krishma and the team at Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa use two premier brands of Botox:

  • Botox Cosmetic was the original FDA approved medication to temporarily make severe or moderate wrinkles look better
  • Dysport is a fast-acting, safe treatment to erase wrinkles temporarily, and 97% of women that receive the treatment say they’d use it again

Botox and Dysport are made from the same concentrated compound, are used in the same way, and have the same effect. While these two medications have slightly different compound structures and molecular weights, both are highly effective at relieving wrinkles temporarily. 

The biggest difference between Botox and Dysport is that Botox was originally approved in the United States and Dysport was used in Europe even before Botox was approved in the U.S.

Both of these treatments are extremely safe, with two decades of data on the effectiveness of these treatments. In fact, there were only 36 adverse events tied to these treatments between 1989 and 2003, and thirteen of these cases were likely due to the patient’s underlying medical condition, not the treatment itself.

Krishma comments, “We like these two brands because they have the longest standing evidence of safety and efficacy.”

How Long Does Botox Last?

BotoxThe effects of Botox or Dysport are temporary. Krishma comments, “Most Botox lasts between three to four months. Though timing can sometimes vary.” Getting a Botox treatment just takes a few minutes however your treatment should always be conducted by a qualified medical professional.

Some patients are worried about the Botox injection wondering if the treatment is painful. They also worry that the treatment won’t look natural or that their face will freeze in place. These worries couldn’t be further from the truth. At Lake Nona Ophthalmology Med Spa, Botox treatments are designed to change your appearance gradually with little to no discomfort or down time after the treatment.

No anesthesia is required; Botox is injected into the problem areas of the face with a very tiny needle and just a slight discomfort. The effect of the wrinkle reduction isn’t immediate. Krishma says, “For most patients the complete effect can take up to 14-days.”

Your doctor will likely recommend that you stop anti-inflammatory medications and even aspirin about two weeks before the treatment to reduce bruising. Avoid alcohol about one week before treatment.

Temporary bruising is the most likely side effect after a Botox treatment. After treatment if you’re sore you can apply ice and rest if needed. 

If you are in good health, over age 18, and not pregnant, a Botox treatment can help you reduce the appearance of facial lines that keep you from looking your best.

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At Lake Nona Ophthalmology, Dr. Patel and his team provide compassionate, excellent care and treatment for patients throughout Central Florida.

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Chirag J. Patel, MD, FACS, Lake Nona Ophthalmology Founder, and Krishma Patel, PA-C Physician Assistant.