If you’re interested in smoothing mild-to-moderate lines, wrinkles, and folds, you’re probably a poor candidate for Botox or Dysport. However, you are probably the perfect candidate for Botox, a subtler neuromodulator offered at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare. Today, our goal is to answer the most commonly asked questions we receive about this anti-aging treatment including where it can be used and how many units you can expect to need.
What Areas Can Be Treated With Botox?
Botox can be used just about anywhere you are experiencing concerns caused by hyperactive muscles. For example, it is often used to correct mild-to-moderate forehead lines, wrinkles, and folds. However, it can also be injected into other parts of the face, including under the eyes, around the corners of the mouth, above the lip, and around the nose.
Furthermore, this neurotoxic protein can be used to address much more than cosmetic concerns. It can also treat mild-to-moderate cases of medical conditions caused by muscle hyperactivity. For example, it can be used to treat hyperhidrosis affecting the hands or underarms. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most common injection sites.
The Upper Eyebrows
If you feel like only a brow lift could prevent you from looking tired, disinterested or angry all the time, you’ll be interested to know that you don’t need an invasive procedure to look refreshed, rejuvenated, and revitalized. Botox, or incobotulinumtoxin A, can be injected into the muscles above and below the eyebrows, calming them and preventing them from drooping.
Unlike a traditional brow lift, there is almost no preparation required. Simply stop taking blood-thinning drugs and supplements for a few days before your scheduled appointment to mitigate the risk of bruising at the injection sites. Since there is no anesthesia or sedation involved, you don’t have to stop drinking alcohol and consuming tobacco products for six weeks before your appointment and you won’t need your heart or lung function tested.
If you’re concerned about drooping eyebrows making you look tired, there’s a good chance that you’re also concerned about moderate forehead folds making you look unapproachable. Unfortunately, if you want to advance in your career or land a job in a new industry, you need to come across as friendly. IncobotulinumtoxinA can temporarily erase mild-to-moderate forehead wrinkles and folds when injected between and above the eyebrows.
Usually, to relax the forehead muscles most effectively, you will need the neurotoxic protein injected into five strategic points. Administering the medication takes mere seconds and the entire appointment should take no more than 15 minutes including cleaning the injection sites. The only anti-aging solutions that rival incobotulinumtoxinA in convenience are other neurotoxic protein injections.
This neurotoxic protein is also commonly sought to erase lines extending from the nose to the corners of the mouth. Depending on the cause of vertical “lip” lines, it may be reversible with Botox, or you may need a dermal filler to be injected into the area. It all depends on whether the vertical lines that traverse your face from your nose to your upper lip is caused by localized muscle hyperactivity or collagen loss. Sometimes, people require both types of injections.
The Upper Eyelids
This neurotoxic protein can also be used as a non-invasive alternative to an eyelid lift. In fact, the upper eyelids are one of the most common areas targeted for treatment because your eyelid muscles are used so regularly. Most people blink every three to four seconds, or 900 to 1,200 times per hour. Even if your eyes are closed for nine hours every night, you’re probably blinking between 13,500 and 18,000 times daily.
Since the upper eyelid muscles are used so frequently, they are very strong. Unfortunately, if there is a communication issue between your nervous system and your muscles, hyperactivity can easily lead to deep wrinkles around the eyes and may result in blepharospasms, or uncontrollable upper eyelid spasms that prevent you from seeing and enjoying activities such as driving, reading and watching movies.
The Orbicularis Oris Muscle
This medication can also be injected into the orbicularis oris muscle to achieve non-invasive upper lip augmentation. While there are dermal fillers that can be injected into the upper lip itself, some people feel like such injections don’t look quite natural. When injecting incobotulinumtoxinA, the lips aren’t augmented directly. Rather, the orbicularis oris muscle is relaxed, and the nerve impulses around the mouth are thus blocked, relaxing the muscle fibers.
By allowing your hyperactive mouth muscles to relax, your lips flip outward, making them look fuller and sultrier without looking fake. They’re still your lips. They just naturally pout and look more attractive than they did when your mouth muscles were constantly tense.
The Back of the Neck
This medication can also safely and effectively be injected into the back of the neck to treat cervical dystonia. This painful chronic condition is characterized by uncontrollable muscle spasms that cause the head to jerk regularly into unnatural, uncomfortable positions. Depending on the type of cervical dystonia you have, you may experience pain in your neck, shoulders, upper back, or head.
IncobotulinumtoxinA has been FDA-approved for over a decade to safely treat this painful condition for several months at a time. If you suffer from cervical dystonia, your injection locations will be determined by the directions in which your head twitches uncontrollably. You may need injections administered into the back of your neck, your shoulders, and your upper back. Your exact treatment plan will be discussed in depth during your initial consultation.
Good Candidates for This Medication
Since this medication comprises the incomplete neurotoxic protein, there is no risk of being allergic to the medication. However, we will thoroughly review your medical history and the medications you have taken recently to ensure there is no risk of potential contraindications. Here’s a brief overview of what will be discussed.
It is very important that you are prepared to talk about your medical history in depth when you come in for your initial consultation. To make the process smoother, we recommend that you bring in a list of answers to the following questions:
- Are you pregnant?
- Are you breastfeeding?
- Do you plan on breastfeeding in the near future?
- Do you suffer from emphysema, asthma, or another breathing problem?
- Have you had eye surgery?
- Do your eyelids droop?
- Have you had facial surgery, either reconstructive or otherwise?
- Have you ever suffered from aspiration or other swallowing problems?
- Have you ever experienced side effects from other neurotoxin injections?
- Have you been diagnosed with a disease that affects your neuromuscular systems?
- Do you have bleeding problems?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re not automatically disqualified as a candidate for treatment with this medication. For example, droopy eyelids may indicate that you are an excellent candidate for treatment, but you may need a higher dose around the eyes. Honest, clear communication is the only way to guarantee a safe, effective treatment.
As with any injectable medication, you have to make sure you’re not taking any medications that are designed to or can possibly thin the blood. If you have naturally thin blood or take drugs or supplements that can thin the blood, bruising may occur at the injection site. However, you can mitigate the risk of bruising and other potential contraindications by disclosing all of the medications you are currently taking and have taken recently.
For example, we need to know if you have received Botox or Dysport injections in the past four months. Even if the ideal results of another neurotoxic protein have waned, you shouldn’t receive this treatment until the other results have faded fully. Furthermore, you must be completely honest about any nutritional supplements, you’re taking, like a multivitamin that includes a high dose of vitamin E or fish oil supplements. Again, this is for your safety.
How to Prepare for Treatment
The first step in preparing for treatment is to prepare for your initial consultation. To reiterate, we recommend writing down all the key facts about your medical history that may affect your candidacy for treatment. You should also write down all medications you have taken in the past four months including the strength of the medication and how frequently you took each dose. During the consultation itself, we will provide you with comprehensive pre-treatment instructions.
For example, it’s important that your blood pressure fall within a normal range on the day of your treatment. If you haven’t been diagnosed with hypertension, you probably don’t need to do anything special. Just drink a glass of water and eat a healthy snack or light meal before you come in for your session. If you eat a heavy meal that is high in unhealthy fats and sugar and very high in sodium, your blood pressure may elevate to an unhealthy level.
What to Avoid Before Treatment
On the day of your treatment session, avoid applying cosmetics to your face, such as makeup and lotion. If you wear cosmetics to your appointment, they will be removed before the treatment area is cleansed at the start of your treatment. To make your appointment go faster, we also recommend that you come in without jewelry as all jewelry will need to be removed before your treatment session begins, too.
You should also avoid scheduling such cosmetic treatments as light or medium chemical peels in the week leading up to your scheduled neuromodulator treatment. Everyone’s skin peels at a different rate after a chemical peel, but the fresh skin revealed after a chemical peel is so sensitive that any injectable treatment isn’t advisable within the first five to seven days of a peel, depending on the strength of the peel.
What to Expect After Treatment
You may notice that your skin looks a little smoother immediately after treatment, but it can take anywhere from five to 10 days to see the final results of your treatment. You should also expect no pain or discomfort following your session. If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Now
You don’t have to settle for mild-to-moderate wrinkles making you look older and more tired than you actually are. With Botox, you can smooth away lines, wrinkles, and folds that can only be addressed with a neurotoxic protein. To determine if this treatment is appropriate for you, contact us at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare now to schedule your initial consultation.