• Botulinum toxin - BotoxWhat does botulinum toxin (Botox) do? – Botulinum toxin – Botox (Allergan) is an extremely effective tool in our regimen in maintaining a youthful appearance as the years quickly pass.  Botox often gets blamed for making people look funny or “over done” from a plastic surgery standpoint.  I often hear my patients say, “whoa, did you see so-and-so from Hollywood?!  She has way too much Botox.”

    The Reality –  Botulinum toxin – Botox

    In reality the “over done” look does not come from Botox but from too much surgery and too much filler.  Botox alone, only inhibits muscle function.  Anywhere muscle is not functioning, the fine lines and wrinkles of age, do not exist.  Because we need some muscle function to speak and eat and make normal facial expressions, it cannot be injected everywhere.  However, it certain locations it works perfectly and when injected by someone with experience. It is a must-have if you hope to maintain a youthful appearance as long as possible.

    How It Works – Botulinum toxin – Botox

    Botox works by inhibiting the release of Acetylcholine where the nerve meets the muscle.  When you hear or see something surprising, most people will raise their eyebrows.  For this movement to occur the nerve that comes from your brain has to communicate with the muscle in your forehead (frontalis muscle).  The nerve communicates by releasing a chemical called acetylcholine.  If it cannot release the acetylcholine the muscle does not move.  The effect is not permanent but lasts for 3-4 months on average.  On one hand this is good, because if you do not like the way it looks or feels, then just wait, it will wear off shortly.  However, this does mean you have to come see me about every quarter to get injected.

    How It Was First Used – Botulinum toxin – Botox

    Botox was first used medically in the 1970’s to help correct an abnormal alignment of the eyes.  It has been in use widely in the aesthetic industry since the early 1990’s and is the most common cosmetic procedure performed worldwide with millions of patients benefiting from its effects every year.  Its safety has been proven.  I inject myself in my forehead and around my eyes, and if I had any concerns about its safety, I would not.

    Cosmetically, Botox is used all over the face but most commonly by far in the forehead, between the eyebrows and in the “crow’s feet” area.  Botox in the forehead is used to help improve the transverse lines that you see in the mirror when you raise your eyebrows, and between the eyebrows to improve the vertical fine lines or the “elevens” you see when you furrow your brow with anger or confusion.  Botox can also be used in the upper lip and cheeks for various reasons.  This should only be done by advanced injectors because of the risk of it effecting muscles needed for chewing and smiling etc.

    Whether you have been using Botox for decades or only recently began thinking about using it for the first time, give us a call.  I personally do all of the injecting and would love to meet you.

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    Drew Sanderson, MD

    Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery