When do I know it’s time to get Botox?
I get asked this question a lot. My response? When you make a facial expression, let it go, and if there are still visible lines after the movement, it’s time to consider a splash.
Botulinum toxin – aka Botox, after its first brand name - is a substance that when injected into a muscle will temporarily stop it from moving, making it a good treatment for facial lines. Botox has been used in cosmetic treatments for more than 20 years. In the right hands, it is a safe and highly effective non-surgical solution for certain types of wrinkles.
Botox gives muscles a break from pulling, and allows lines to begin to soften. When used in conjunction with an advanced skincare regime, it’s a great way to prevent the signs of aging.
There are several different types of facial wrinkles which can determine the kind of treatment. Dynamic lines, or “mimic lines,” are caused by the movement of muscles. They include lines around the mouth, (glabella or “frown lines”) between the eyebrows, on the forehead, (“worry lines”) on the nose, (“bunny lines”) and at the outer eye corners (“crow’s feet”). A small amount of Botox can help soften the pull from the muscles.
The second group of wrinkles are called static lines. They are visible when your face doesn’t move. They can develop on their own (primary static lines) or spring from long-established dynamic lines (secondary static lines).
Lastly, gravitational folds are usually deeper furrows resulting from a combination of loss of volume and gravitation. A prime example of these are nasolabial folds running from your nose to the corners of your mouth. As we get older, our faces tend to lose fat. The first areas to go are the fat pads in our cheeks. Yes, we deflate as we age! Thankfully there are many advanced treatments on the market that can softly create volume without making you look “overdone.”
The great thing about cosmetic botulinum toxin is that it works at the root cause of dynamic lines by preventing the muscle from doing the very movement that is causing the problem. For this reason, Botox also plays a useful role in wrinkle-prevention in people who tend to overuse certain facial muscles.
One key area of non-invasive cosmetic dermatology is smoothing facial lines and wrinkles. An initial assessment should only be done by an experienced cosmetic dermatologist, plastic surgeon or a highly trained nurse injector. Be prepared to pay for this consultation.
Nashville has some of the best injectors in the country. It is imperative to find someone who has a soft hand and is conservative in their approach, as I see lots of strange faces. Less can definitely be more when it comes to filler and Botox. It is a slow dance of finding what works best with our natural symmetry. Someone who can soften and enhance what we already have and not lose our natural expression is the goal.
Finally, on average, it takes about five days for Botox to kick in. The effect on the muscle is fully reversible and lasts about 3 to 6 months. Patients usually come for top-ups 2 to 4 times a year.
We don’t give botulinum toxin injections in our office, but we are happy to make referrals to top local practitioners. Contact our office for more information.