What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is a purified form of a toxin produced by a bacterium (Clostridium botulinum) that causes botulism. As BOTOX®, this toxin does not cause botulism for two reasons: (1) because it is not eaten and therefore has no systemic effect; and (2) because it is given in tiny doses, too small to be harmful, injected into a specific muscle. Whereas the raw bacterial toxin paralyzes the body permanently, BOTOX® simply paralyzes a particular muscle temporarily – a muscle that you want to have paralyzed.
Is BOTOX® safe?
Yes, BOTOX® is entirely safe. It has been tested and approved by the FDA for both cosmetic and medical treatments. It was first approved in 1989 to treat two eye disorders that caused uncontrollable eye movements. By paralyzing those eye muscles, it gave some calm and relief to the sufferers. It has since been approved for other disorders involving involuntary muscle movements (e.g. cervical dystonia), and is used off-label for even more such disorders, such as cerebral palsy.
In 2002 the FDA approved BOTOX® for cosmetic treatments and for the past three years it has been the most popular non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedure for both men and women.
How can BOTOX® help me?
BOTOX® can smooth out frown lines and horizontal forehead lines, giving your face a more relaxed and youthful look. Dr. Kim will inject it into a specific muscle – for example, the corrugator supercilii, which is a small diagonal muscle on each side of the nose that pulls the eyebrows inwards and downwards. Botox will then prevent that muscle from receiving any commands from the brain telling it to contract. Without any commands, the muscle cannot contract.
To smooth out forehead lines, BOTOX® is injected in several places horizontally across the forehead. BOTOX® does not affect drooping eyebrows – however a brow lift can help with that.
BOTOX® is also used for crow’s feet, those criss-crossing lines around the eyes. It is effective only for wrinkles caused by repeated muscle use. It does not affect wrinkles caused by sagging, such as a nasolabial folds, or the lines caused by skin dryness or sun damage.
Do BOTOX® injections hurt?
Most people do not feel them as painful. Some people have minor and temporary discomfort. Dr. Kim will be using an extremely thin needle which makes a very tiny perforation in the skin and that is why there is hardly any discomfort. He will also numb the area with a swab if you would like that.
How long do BOTOX® results last?
BOTOX® results typically last about four months. A repeat treatment will continue the benefits.
To learn more about BOTOX® and how it might benefit you, please call or email our office for a personal consultation.