A Guide to Botox – Your Questions Answered

Let’s have a detailed look at Botox® and also its newer relative Dysport®

What exactly is it?

Botox®, manufactured by Allergan Inc., is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is a toxin found in spoilt food – especially in spoilt, canned food as the active form of the bacterium can only live in environments low in oxygen. Fortunately is rarely encountered which is just as well as it is possibly the most potent toxin known to science. In fact botulin toxin is around 40 million times more powerful than cyanide! A fraction of a milligram can kill an adult.  Flawless Fillers is proud to be a premiere provider of Botox in Austin area.

How does it work?

Botox works by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses and it is exactly this feature that makes it useful for a number of medical applications, including our area of interest – reducing wrinkles.

A muscle that does not receive nerve signals relaxes. By injecting an extremely dilute amount of Botox into the appropriate muscle, nerve signals are blocked, the muscle becomes paralysed, stops tugging on your skin and the associated wrinkles, lines and furrows will reduce or disappear. Very effective! Botox doesn’t actually repair your skin in any way but the effect, though temporary; is (in most cases) impressive nonetheless.

As with any medication, potential side effects of Botox do exist and vary according to injection site, dose, frequency of injections, and the amount of physician expertise. Most side effects are temporary and occur within a few days of treatment. For details of possible side effects please click here.

In the hands of experienced physicians, all but the mildest side effects are considered rare. However, if you develop serious side effects of Botox, such as chest pain, speech problems, or double vision, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Please be very, very selective about where you have your injections done. Aside from making a temporary mess of your face, too large a dose incurs the risk of the toxin reaching your bloodstream – not a good idea – see the news articles on this site.

That means no Botox parties or Botox-while-you-have-a-haircut establishments. A good practitioner will be extensively trained not only in dosages but will know exactly which muscle to inject for the desired effect. Ask the practitioner whether he or she has been trained in the Botox injection technique and whether they are insured.

Because the active molecule is a foreign protein, your immune system will attack it and eventually break it down. The paralysed muscle(s) will gradually “come back to life” the skin smoothing effect will disappear and after a few months you will need to go in for another treatment. Repeated use may in time reduce the length of effectiveness as your immune system will kick in faster each time the toxin is re-introduced.

Dysport®, by Medicus.is a very similar product to Botox, but has fewer proteins surrounding the toxin and is said to stimulate a weaker immune response. This may make it a good choice for Botox patients who find the effectiveness of Botox reduced over time because their body has developed antibodies.

What is the procedure?

It’s good to know what to expect when you go for Botox treatment so here is a detailed explanation. The routine will vary slightly between doctors but it will typically follow this procedure:

You will sit in a comfortable reclining chair similar to a dentist’s and your practitioner will ask you to make various facial expressions such as squinting and frowning. Based on the results you are hoping for and the effects of these expressions on your skin, your surgeon will mark the locations to be treated. This is where experience counts! If you have any questions that remain unanswered about your treatment this is the time to ask.

Once the injection locations are determined the actual treatment only takes about 10 minutes. The needle used is very fine and anaesthesia is really not required but you can ask for the area to be numbed with an anaesthetic cream or cold compress. The injection is usually administered directly into the muscle the surgeon determines is causing the lines you are hoping to reduce

If you feel any discomfort at all it will usually be short lived – a pinprick or at most a slight sting. You can return to your normal activities almost straight away. If you have sensitive skin you may experience very minor bruising but this will clear quickly in most cases.

The results of your Botox injections will become gradually apparent over the following week as your wrinkles slowly melt away. The effects will typically last three to four months at which time you may choose to return for a touch up.

Properly applied, the end result should look completely natural. You should look rested and healthy, not frozen and tight. People should notice you’re looking great without being able to detect any specific change.

How Much Does it Cost?

As with many things, beware of suspiciously low prices. Your face is no place to cut corners. The cost varies according to where in the body you’re having it and how much is needed, but expect to pay about $400 to $700 for a facial treatment. It should last between 3 and 7 months – so typically around $30 to $40 a week.