The administration of Botulinum Toxin Type A is one of the most highly recognized non-surgical cosmetic procedures available today. When administered by a skilled professional, it is a safe and effective treatment for dynamic wrinkles (those that deepen when a muscle contracts), as well as for excessive sweating.
What are the Benefits?
There’s a reason Botox has created such a loyal following — it works! When Botox relaxes the muscles that form the wrinkles on the upper third of the face, this instantly takes years off your facial appearance. And it does so with not a single incision or suture.
Who is the Ideal Candidate?
If you have wrinkles caused by muscle contractions, called dynamic wrinkles, Botox is the answer to remove them. These wrinkles are found on the upper third of the face, the area where we form expressions. So, if you have crow’s feet, the 11s between your eyebrows, and forehead lines, Botox is an excellent choice. If your wrinkles show themselves at all times, such as smile lines, marionette lines, parentheses lines, and lip lines, Botox does not have any effect on them. These are called static wrinkles and are addressed with dermal fillers, not neuromodulators.
Botox is one brand of botulinum toxin type A. Another, similar brand used in our office is called Xeomin, a highly purified wrinkle relaxer that is free of impurities. They both work by blocking the release of a natural chemical, which triggers the muscle contractions that create wrinkles. When injected, it paralyzes muscles and temporarily prevents them from contracting. Within the next 3-5 days, the injected muscles begin to weaken, thereby diminishing or preventing wrinkles caused by the contracting muscles.
Botox is commonly used to treat the following areas:
- Glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyebrows)
- Forehead wrinkles
- Crow’s feet
- Lip depressors
Our Registered Nurse Injector will evaluate your skin thickness, type, degree of wrinkling and personal goals for the most effective use of botulinum type A toxin injections. This procedure is often combined with other skin rejuvenation procedures like dermal fillers for minimally-invasive enhancements to your overall appearance. These injections have been used safely for many years, and are an extremely popular choice for both women and men who desire fewer wrinkles and want to retain a more youthful, and softer look.
Botox/Xeomin Before & After
Excessive Sweating (Hyperhydrosis)
Botoox is also a safe, effective treatment for excessive underarm sweating when anti-perspirants or other topical treatments are ineffective. Botox has been shown to decrease perspiration by up to 87%.
How Botox Injections are Performed
Following an analysis and a discussion of your desired outcome, the treatment itself takes only 15 to 20 minutes. During your treatment, a very fine needle with a small amount of solution is injected into the muscles. Any discomfort due to the injection is minimal and no sedation or local anaesthetic is required, although topical anaesthetic is available upon request.
The injections are quick, simple and have no downtime. Our Nurse Injector will provide specific instructions about your post-procedure activities that may include avoiding strenuous exercise, sun exposure and alcohol consumption for 24 hours following your appointment. Do not rub or massage the treated areas for a few days. You may experience temporary localized swelling, bruising and discomfort as a result of the injection. The muscle relaxation is usually observed within 2-10 days, and the peak effect is reached in about 2-4 weeks, generally lasting 3-4 months, every patient's treatment results will vary.
Frequently Asked Questions
The initial Botox FDA approval was for glabellar lines (frown lines or the 11s) that form between your eyebrows and for forehead lines. Although it had been used off-label to treat crow’s feet at the outside of the eyes from the beginning, the FDA added that approval in 2013. Thus far, Xeomin has only been approved for frown lines, but it is also used in other areas.
For some patients, Dr. Dawes has also had success treating lip depressors, the muscles at the side of the mouth that draw the lower lip down and to the side. Some patients also respond to neck banding with Botox and Xeomin, but this isn’t the case for all patients.
Xeomin and Botox have basically the same formulation with one difference: Xeomin doesn’t have the additional proteins that are included with Botox. For that reason, in the aesthetic world Xeomin has been given the moniker, the Naked Injectable. Because Xeomin is almost only botulinum toxin, if patients have a history of any reactions to Botox, they may have better luck with Xeomin. Otherwise, the two perform the same.
Botox and Xeomin are classified as neuromodulators because they act to block nerve messages and keep muscles from contracting. Dynamic wrinkles form on the skin above a contracting muscle when we make common expressions such as frowning, squinting, or showing surprise. Neuromodulators stop these muscles from contracting so the wrinkle that forms above them never forms.
Dermal fillers do things in a completely different way. They are injected beneath a wrinkle, crease, or area of volume loss, and they simply fill the area back in, pushing up the skin. Fillers don’t have anything to do with muscles. They work on static wrinkles from sun damage, collagen loss, personal habits, and the like.
Results can vary for each individual; the average is three-to-four months when proper BOTOX dilution is used.
Your results are not immediate with these neuromodulators; it takes a little time for the botulinum toxin to block the nerve messages and keep the muscle in its relaxed state. This takes three to four days for Botox and Xeomin to fully take effect.
Those who can be licensed to administer BOTOX injections are limited to:
- Physicians actively licensed by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta
- Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners actively licensed by the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, who are injecting with sufficient education and training in this procedure, and with support from a physician
- Licensed Practical Nurses actively registered with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta who are injecting with additional education and training in this procedure, and with support from a physician
- Aestheticians, medical aestheticians and dentists are NOT licensed to administer BOTOX in Alberta unless they meet the above criteria
BOTOX has been licensed in Canada since 1990 as a safe and effective treatment for a variety of medical conditions. In 2001, Health Canada approved its use specifically for wrinkle therapy. BOTOX® has become the most popular physician-administered cosmetic treatment in North America, with an estimated three-million treatments performed annually.
It is important to ensure your BOTOX® procedure is administered by a fully-licensed practitioner who:
- Is licensed in Alberta for injections (please see FAQ ‘Who can perform BOTOX injections in Alberta?’)
- Has experience in injections and cosmetic procedures, with additional training in injecting BOTOX®, and who is prepared and qualified to handle any complications
- Has a very strong knowledge of facial anatomy
- Is someone you are completely comfortable with and trust
Dr. Dawes injects these neuromodulators with a very tiny needle, and the injections are not made to great depth. Most patients equate the feeling of the injections to that of a pinprick. Topical numbing cream is available, should you want it, but the vast majority of patients don’t request or feel the need for it.
Year in and year out, Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical or non-surgical, across the globe. Botox is approved for cosmetic use in 98 countries. To date over 13 million vials of Botox have been sold in the U.S. alone. Botox has been the subject of nearly 500 studies and scientific journal articles and has been found to be very effective and safe.
Side effects are typically redness and minor swelling at the injection sites. These issues pass within a day or so. Patients need to not rub the injection sites to not push the Botox to an unintended muscle. More serious side effects, such as eyelid drooping is possible, but are usually the result of inexperienced injectors.