Dr. Joseph Daw is a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Here the Doctor has answered some of the common questions bizymoms visitors have about Botox.
Q. What is Botox?
A. Botox is a neurotoxin that is derived from the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum. When injected into a muscle, it blocks the chemical signal to move the muscle. Facial wrinkles are caused by movement of various muscles, particularly on the forehead, between the eyebrows, on the upper nose and on the sides of the eyes (crow’s feet). Once the muscle is weakened, the lines typically disappear or are reduced. Only medical grade botulinum toxin produced by an FDA approved pharmaceutical company should be utilized.
Q. Who is the ideal candidate for BOTOX?
A. The ideal candidate for Botox therapy is a woman or man who has static wrinkles (i.e., wrinkles that are present in the absence of facial expression or animation) of the upper face and/or lateral eye area. Most commonly, these are patients who are in their late 30s, 40s and 50s. However, I do inject patients who are in their 20s, and I feel there is some benefit for this as a prophylactic measure to delay the onset of deeper wrinkles. Also, most patients in their 60s are still good candidates, but I tend to be less aggressive as I do not feel it is as natural for someone of that age group to be totally wrinkle free.
Q. How long do the results of BOTOX last?
A. The effect of Botox typically lasts about 3 months although some patients may see a slightly longer effect. Infrequently, Botox may last a little less than 3 months. The duration of effect can often be prolonged with regular and consistent use but this may take several treatments before occurring.
Q. How much does BOTOX cost?
A. At our office, the usual fee for Botox is $12.00 per unit and $9.00 per unit on our "Day of Beauty," which occurs once each month. Using the standard fee, the cost to treat forehead wrinkles may range between $240.00-360.00. Treating the lines between the eyebrows (the "11s") or the lines next to the eyes costs between $180.00-240.00 for each site.
Q. Who should perform a BOTOX procedure?
A. Any physician may legally inject Botox. However, plastic surgeons and dermatologist typically have the most knowledge and skill among medical practitioners. In addition, nurses and physicians assistants may perform injections under the supervision of a licensed physician. In my practice, all injections are performed by me only.
Q. How safe is Botox?
A. Botox therapy for cosmetic purposes is generally very safe. Serious complications such as diffuse body weakening or paralysis and death have occurred primarily in patients who were injected with significantly greater amounts for medical purposes. The dosage for cosmetic indications is much less than those dosages. The potential side effects or adverse outcomes related to Botox therapy for cosmetic purposes include headache, eyebrow asymmetry and drooping of the eyelid. Fortunately, these are temporary.
Q. How many treatments will be needed for botox?
A. Usually one treatment is all that is necessary but occasionally a second small treatment as a touch-up is required within 10-14 days if there is incomplete effect or asymmetry. However, as already mentioned, the effect of Botox is temporary, and ongoing treatment approximately every three months will be necessary to maintain the reduction in wrinkles.