What is BOTOX®?
Botulinum toxin, more commonly known as Botox®, is one of the most important facial fillers to hit cosmetic plastic surgery. It irons out wrinkles and lines in aging faces to improve overall appearance. Botox® is an injectable substance used medically to treat various muscular conditions as well as cosmetically to reduce or remove facial wrinkles. It is a prescription medicine injected into certain muscles that when contracted cause your skin to fold and wrinkle. Botox® temporarily reduces the activity of those muscles to reduce this skin furrowing and rejuvenate your facial features.
In particular, Botulinum toxin can be used to treat:
- Skin bands on the neck
- Forehead furrows
- Crow’s feet
- Frown lines
All of our facial expressions every day (like smiling, frowning, and chewing our food) will eventually lead to wrinkling, one of the most common signs of aging. One of the best ways to achieve a more youthful look is by reducing these wrinkles, and a quick, safe way to do this is with Botox® injections.
If you are in the Chicago area and are interested in Botox®, set up a consultation with plastic surgeon Dr. John Kim at his office at Northwestern Plastic Surgery.
How does Botox® work?
Botox® is a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This material blocks the signals that normally tell you muscles to contract. When these signals are blocked, the muscles will not contract and thus will not reveal underlying wrinkles. When you opt to have Botox®, Dr. Kim will choose specific muscles to inject with a thin needle, and he will base his procedure on your specific skin type, skin thickness, and the degree of wrinkling on your face. Typically, Dr. Kim will perform 2-3 injections on crow’s feet wrinkles, whereas brow furrows between your eyes could take five or more. Typically, the procedure itself takes about 15 minutes and does not require anesthesia or any post-procedure down time for recovery.
Although you are able to resume normal activities immediately after injection, you may experience minimal side effects. These may include some pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. You may also experience headache or mild flu-like symptoms like upset stomach.
Botox® may be combined with other cosmetic skin procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or other dermal fillers to further improve the aesthetics of your face. A combination of therapies can help prevent the formation of new lines and wrinkles over time. It is important to note that Botox® is not indicated for reversing sun damage and is only a temporary way to reduce fine facial lines and wrinkles.
How long do Botox results last?
Results from your Botox® procedure may appear within a few days, but typically the full effects can be seen within one week. This facial rejuvenation procedure typically lasts about 3-4 months. When its effects begin to face, your muscles begin to respond normally to facial movements, causing the wrinkles to resurface. Thus, since Botox® is a temporary treatment, you will need to establish a regular treatment plan with Dr. Kim in order to maintain your beautiful results.
To optimize the results of your Botox® procedure, you must commit to taking good care of your face. The best ways to do this include maintaining good skin care and leading an active, healthy daily lifestyle. Sun exposure is a detriment to your face and to the beautifying effects of Botox®, so be sure to apply SPF year round while minimizing sun exposure with clothing and hats.
What does Botox® do?
It temporarily reduces muscle contractions that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Botox® is injected directly into the muscles that cause the wrinkles.
Who can get Botox®?
You are a good candidate for Botox® if you are between the ages of 18 and 65. You are not a good candidate if you have an infection at the injection site, are allergic to any Botox® ingredients, have a disease of your muscles or nerves, have had previous facial surgery or plan on it in the future, or are pregnant or lactating. Be sure to address your health history and all concerns with Dr. Kim at your consultation.
What are the benefits of Botox®?
Botox® is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment that is an effective alternative to surgical treatment. This type of facial injection necessitates zero downtime and the treatments are quick Dr. Kim can perform this procedure in as little as 15 minutes. There is minimal pain and discomfort with the likelihood of mild side effects. Your results will be noticeable just a few days after just one session.
What will the procedure be like?
The injection itself will be done by Dr. Kim in just a few short minutes. Many times, patients do not feel the tiny injection at all. The needle is very thin and injects only very small amounts of Botox® into the relevant muscles. The depth and location of your wrinkles will determine exactly how many Botox® injections Dr. Kim will need to do.
Are there risks associated with Botox®?
As is the case with any aesthetic procedure, Botox® has potential risks, including numbness, temporary eyelid droop, bruising, nausea, headache, and flu-like symptoms.
Is there a recovery period?
There is very little recovery or downtime necessary after Botox® treatment. You may resume normal daily activities when you leave Dr. Kim’s downtown Chicago office.
When can I expect to see my results?
Your results will begin to appear in as little as 3 or as many as 10 days. You should see wrinkle improvement in about 1 week after your injections. Improvement may continue over time for up to one month.
How long will my Botox® results last?
Over three to five months, the treated muscles will gradually regain their normal movements. At that time, a simple repeat treatment is all that is necessary to maintain your beautiful results. Results vary among individual patients, but most commonly Botox® injections will last three to four months.
Are there side effects with Botox® injection treatment?
Some patients experience minimal side effects after treatment. This can include mild discomfort, swelling, tenderness, and redness, infection, bruising, or bleeding at or near the injection site. Some patients experience flu-like symptoms, including headache and nausea. There is also the possibility of temporarily facial drooping and weakness.
More about Dr. John Kim
Dr. Kim is an American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon who is committed to helping his patients achieve their aesthetic goals. He is proud to offer both surgical and non-surgical treatments, including Botox® as well as microdermabrasion and other dermal fillers. He is also a renowned breast and body contouring surgeon who offers tummy tuck, liposuction, mommy makeover, and breast augmentation and breast lift. His practice is based on the Northwestern campus in downtown Chicago, IL.