In recent years, Botox has become a hot commodity as people seek a refreshed, youthful look. There are a wide variety of places that offer Botox injections, but what people may not realize is how important it is to find a qualified person with experience and training. Did you know that ophthalmologists are the most experienced administrators of Botox? Our doctors at Southern Idaho Ophthalmology have been trained in the safest methods for administering injections.
What is Botox?
Botox (also called botulinum toxin type A) is a drug made from the bacteria that causes botulism. The botulinum toxin blocks nerve activity in muscles. Botox is used medically to treat muscular conditions and can also be used cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing facial muscles.
Ophthalmologists began using Botox in the 1970s to treat strabismus, or eye muscle imbalances. Before long the drug was used to treat blepharospasm—involuntary closing of the eyelids—as well. When Botox is injected into the eye muscles, it reduces their movement and can be very effective in aligning the eyes. Researchers noticed that, in addition to helping with eye conditions, the drug drastically reduced the unpleasant appearance of wrinkles. Botox was approved for cosmetic use in 2002 and has recently been approved for the treatment of migraine headaches.
What Can Botox Treat?
Along with being very useful for medical treatment, Botox works great for cosmetic purposes. While Botox may not completely erase wrinkles, it works by relaxing the muscles of the face and preventing the droopy look wrinkles can cause.
Botox can help smooth out the following:
- “Crows feet” or smile lines at edges of eyes
- Frown “11” lines between the eyebrows
- Deep forehead lines caused by raising eyebrows
It is ophthalmologists’ experience with these complex muscles around the eyes that sets them apart from other Botox practitioners.
Do Botox Injections Hurt?
Though any injection can hurt, the needles used for Botox are very small, so the pain is usually minimal. Our patients have described feeling a slight pinch, or a fleeting sensation. The area can be numbed with a topical anesthetic or ice pack beforehand so you may feel very little.
Is it expensive and how long does it last?
We will always discuss cost with you and charge only for what we use. Botox is sold in units. The number of units needed for a given treatment varies, depending on how many areas you would like injected. Our office charges only for units used, not by area. Botox gives patients the best value for their money by helping them achieve a noticeable improvement in facial appearance for a small price compared with the cost of major procedures, fillers, or other invasive skin treatments.
If the right amount of Botox is injected by a skilled doctor in the right muscles, results can last 3-4 months. First-time Botox users might notice it wearing off sooner. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and need to be treated again. These often appear less severe with time, as the muscles are being trained to relax.
If you would like to learn more about if Botox might work for you, please call our office.