Botox has been around since the mid-90s as one of the preferred, non-surgical cosmetic treatments for fine lines and wrinkles. But even if you’ve had the treatments we bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about Botox.
Dr. Decorato, a board certified cosmetic surgeon on Staten Island, shares some amazing facts about this quick-and-easy treatment. Be careful — you may just get that surprised expression on your face. You know the one… it’s a telltale sign of a bad Botox treatment. Good cosmetic surgeons will leave you looking younger and completely natural following treatment — no surprises or surprised expressions!
1. The original medical use for Botox was to treat facial and neck muscle spasms. Many cosmetic procedures are actually created for medical uses. Botox gained its first FDA approval for patients with several muscle spasms. But friends and family commented that patients began looking younger — and they wanted in on this “miracle anti-aging drug!”
2. Botox is the brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A made by Allergan Pharmaceuticals. You won’t be seeing a generic version of Botox anytime soon — it’s not legal to produce generic versions of the medication.
There is a slightly less expensive treatment that uses the same medication, called Dysport. (dis-sport) Dysport works a little bit more quickly than Botox. You’ll see results 24 to 48 hours, rather than about 4 days, according to Dr. Decorato. The lower price makes it even more attractive to many patients.
3. Medical researchers are developing Botox-like cosmetic procedures that won’t involve needles! Dr. Decorato says we can look for these topical treatments about five to 10 years down the line. In the meantime, take heart: Botox injections don’t hurt very much. “Some patients report no discomfort at all,” Dr. Decorato says. “Other people say they experience stinging from the solution as it enters their skin. It’s not pain from the needles, because the needles are very small.”
5. Even though it’s injected, Botox and Dysport do not start as a liquid. The medication comes in powder form within a bottle and your cosmetic surgeon dilutes it with a saline solution. The amount of dilution will affect how many injections you need in a particular spot and how drastic the results will be. Most treatments need about six to 10 injections in a specific area. “The more diluted the solution is, the more injections you’ll need for the same effect,” Dr. Decorato explains. “Ask your doctor about the concentration of the solution.”
6. Botox treats headaches, too. Botox is used for headache and migraine treatment, as well as profuse sweating. Botox blocks the neurotransmitters that makes muscles move, weakening the muscles in the forehead and alleviating tension headaches. Researchers speculate that Botox also blocks the protein carrying the message of pain to the brain in migraine sufferers. It has fewer side effects than many other migraine treatments, too — and the desirable side effect of reducing wrinkles!
7. Beware of unregulated, bootleg versions of Botox and Dysport. No generic versions of these treatments are available, but there are bootleg versions. If your cosmetic surgeon uses one of these, you have no way to know what you’re getting. “Make sure your doctor is getting real Botox or Dysport, not unregulated versions from overseas,” advises Dr. Decorato.
8. Botox can’t get rid of ALL your lines and wrinkles — and you wouldn’t want it to! Cosmetic surgeons aim to “soften” your look through Botox, not to give you a fake, plastic expression by getting rid of all the lines and wrinkles on your face. Botox is effective to get rid of crow’s feet, laugh lines, that #11 sign on your forehead just above your nose, and more.
People may comment that you look younger, but they won’t be able to tell you’ve had a cosmetic procedure. “Within an hour to 90 minutes, no one will know you had anything done, but you’ll start to see the results in a few days,” Dr. Decorato says.