What is Botox®?
Botox is a simple and effective in-office procedure for facial wrinkle issues. Botox was the most popular cosmetic “pick-me-up” even before it had cosmetic drug approval in 2002. The effects can be so subtle that no one will know you have had the procedure. If you have facial wrinkling caused by poor muscle tone, you may be an excellent candidate for cosmetic Botox in St. Louis.
Botox is derived from a naturally occurring protein that is purified and has been used safely for years in various medical procedures. In minute amounts, it relaxes and temporarily weakens the muscles that are contracting too much. This means that it is good for people with muscle spasms, such as eyebrow twitches or alleviating wrinkles caused by years of repeating the same facial expression.
Botox® with Dr. Holds
Dr. Holds has a unique experience with Botox as a surgeon who has been a physician trainer for cosmetic Botox for Allergan Pharmaceuticals. He has been using the drug for over 20 years, beginning his work with it in 1987, even before it was FDA-approved for medical conditions. Dr. Holds has performed basic research on the effects of Botox on humans and has taught hundreds of doctors about its medical and cosmetic uses over the past 20 years.
Benefits of Botox® Injections
Botox injections have both cosmetic and medical benefits. Botox can:
- Relax muscles to prevent muscle spasms and twitches
- Relax wrinkles around the eyes
- Soften or eliminate frown lines, crow’s feet, and creases on the forehead
- Soften vertical wrinkles on the upper lip, especially when combined with fillers
Botox® for Muscle Spasms
Despite being primarily known for its cosmetic purposes, Botox is an effective treatment for several medical conditions, including muscle spasms. Dr. Holds will administer the injection directly into the affected muscle and the Botox works to block nerve signals traveling to the muscle. This blockage keeps the muscle from contracting. Botox is commonly used to treat the following muscle spasm related conditions:
- Bladder dysfunction
- Lazy eye
- Muscle stiffness from limb spasticity
- Neuromuscular disorder cervical dystonia
Dr. Holds will use a very fine needle to inject tiny and precise amounts of the Botox at the sites where it needs to relax the wrinkle-causing muscles. Many of our patients receive a topical anesthetic special to our practice, which is very effective. Anxious or sensitive patients can even have a cooling blower applied as well. Most people report only minor discomfort from the injections if any at all.
Before and After Botox®
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Botox® Treatment Recovery
There is no real recovery period necessary for Botox, as you can go home as soon as your injections are complete. You can even go to work the same day if you like and apply makeup immediately.
You will be asked not to massage the exact area where you had your injections for the first day or two, and it is best not to lie down for a few hours. Facials or treatments where your head is in a cradle or in a prolonged dependent position should be avoided for one week. Yoga, pilates, or any type of strenuous exercise should also be avoided for 24-48 hours.
The effects of Botox are temporary, but they usually last three to six months. The effects of the injections will appear gradually over a 5-10-day period following your procedure. So, you may not be able to see the full results right away. Many people get the injections three to four times per year, but you can have injections as needed to achieve your desired results.
As the treatment gradually wears off, wrinkle-producing muscle contractions will begin to recur. Some patients note a “facial training” effect in which they are less prone to wrinkle-causing facial movements. This includes movements such as furrowing their eyebrows, even after the drug wears off.
Side Effects of Botox® Injections
Botox has proven over 25 years to be exceptionally safe. Doctors all over the world give these injections daily with rare side effects. In 2010, the FDA placed a “black box” warning on all neurotoxins which refers to issues unrelated to cosmetic treatments.
The most frequent side effects are a result of either inappropriate administration by unskilled injectors or very occasional spread of the drug into an adjacent muscle group. Possible side effects can include:
Patients who use blood thinners and NSAIDs will reduce the risk of bruising if they avoid these medications for 2-7 days before treatment.