BOTOX® is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large doses, this toxin can cause a form of muscle paralysis known as botulism, which is usually associated with food poisoning. However, it has been used to human advantage by injecting small, diluted (weakened) amounts into specific muscles, causing a relaxation of that muscle.
BOTOX® works by blocking the signal from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle is temporarily unable to contract (tighten) as strongly which allows the overlying skin to relax and lines to soften while still allowing for natural facial expression. BOTOX® is NOT a facial filler - it does not fill existing lines - it relaxes the muscles that are causing them.
BOTOX® is injected into specific muscles with a very fine needle. The procedure takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. 3-5 days after the treatment you will notice the effects of the injections with the full effect being evident after 2 weeks. The effects will last 3-4 months but with a regular treatment schedule the lines will often become less severe and often the duration between treatments can be lengthened.
BOTOX® is a FDA and Health Canada approved treatment for both men and women. It can be used to treat forehead lines, frown lines, crow's feet, smoker's lines, bunny lines, chin dimples. BOTOX® can also be used to effectively treat axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating).
The most common side effects of BOTOX® injections are temporary bruising, slight tenderness at injection site and headaches. It is rare but possible to develop eyebrow or eyelid drooping, drooping at the corner of the mouth or inability to use a straw - depending on the area treated.
BOTOX ® is contraindicated if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, allergic to any of its ingredients, suffer from a neurological disorder or are on prescription blood thinners.
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- Avoid blood-thinning over the counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) for 3 days prior to treatment. The use of Tylenol will not thin your blood and increase the risk of bruising.
- Avoid blood-thinning herbal supplements such as garlic, vitamin E, ginkgo biloba, St. John's Wort, and Omega-3 for 7 days prior to treatment.
- Avoid topical products such as Retin-A, Retinols, Retinoids, Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acid and similar products 7 days before treatment.
- Avoid waxing, bleaching, tweezing and the use of hair removal cream on the area to be treated.
- Avoid the use of alcoholic beverages 24 hours before (and after) to reduce the possibility of bruising.
- If you develop a cold, rash, cold sore or blemish to the treatment area the treatment will be rescheduled.
- Having something to eat and drink before the procedure may decrease any tendency to lightheadedness.
- Avoid the use of make-up prior to the treatment, you may apply it afterwards.
- The doctor or designated health care provider will cleanse the injection sites.
- Using a very fine needle the doctor or designated health care provider will administer the injections.
- You may experience a stinging sensation or a mild tenderness at the injection sites, this is mild enough that no anesthesia is required.
- Some redness and swelling is normal.
- Some bruising is also possible due to the very small blood vessels in the region. This is usually minimal and make-up can be used to conceal it.
- It is recommended to use the muscles (such as smile or frown) for a few hours after the treatment to get the best results
- Do not lay down for 4 hours after the injection, maintain a VERTICAL position.
- Avoid applying pressure to the area - be gentle. Even wearing a hat can adversely effect the injection.
- Avoid exercise or strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Avoid the use of hot tubs/saunas for the remainder of the day.
- You may gently apply a cold gel pack to the area (avoiding pressure) to reduce swelling and potential bruising. Tylenol may be taken.
- Make-up use is acceptable with gentle application.
- A quick follow-up appointment 2 weeks after the treatment is requested to ensure satisfactory results and any refinements can be done at that time.