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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Baylor Facial Plastic Surgery Center

Botox® Cosmetic

How Botox® Cosmetic Works

Botox® is the brand name for botulinum toxic A, a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent derived from the bacteria clostridium botulinum. Originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of eye muscle spasms, Botox® was quickly recognized for its cosmetic value.

Physicians have been using Botox® Cosmetic for years as a treatment to correct visible signs of stress and aging. The medication relaxes the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. When injected in small doses in specific areas, Botox® injections block nerve muscles responsible for the repetitive actions that cause fine lines and wrinkles. In this way, Botox® smooths the lines in the skin that make you look tired or angry.

Candidates for Botox®

A good candidate for Botox® treatment may be anyone looking to enhance their appearance by getting rid of unwanted lines or wrinkles. It is also important that patients seeking treatment with Botox® Cosmetic are in good physical health, are not pregnant or nursing, and do not have a neuromuscular disorder.

Men and women considering Botox® treatment should have realistic expectations of what the procedure can do. You should discuss the desired results with your doctor to ensure that your goals can be achieved.

The Botox® Procedure

Using a very fine needle, a qualified physician will inject Botox® Cosmetic into designated muscles in your face that are causing lines and wrinkles. You may experience brief, mild discomfort during the injection, but you can be assured that the treatment is very safe and effective. Taking only a few minutes, Botox® treatment requires no anesthetic and recovery is immediate, allowing you to return to work and resume your normal daily activities that same day.

The Importance of Choosing a Qualified Physician

Even though Botox® is not a surgical procedure, it is very important to choose a highly experienced and qualified physician when deciding to undergo Botox® treatments. Doctors who are less familiar with the technique could leave you looking "frozen" or perpetually surprised. Our doctors are intimately familiar with Botox® Cosmetic, having successfully treated hundreds of patients at our office. Not only that, we also take the time to talk with each candidate before beginning the injections to find out what he or she wants to achieve and to determine how best to correct their problem area(s), so patients can be happy again with their smoother, younger-looking faces.

Botox® Cosmetic Results

Immediately following the Botox® treatment, some patients may experience mild bruising, which will go away shortly. You will see your wrinkles begin to fade within 24 hours, with continued improvement over the next 5 days. The effects of Botox® Cosmetic typically last up to four months, although many have reported results lasting up to a full year. After several Botox® treatments, the results may be prolonged.

Botox® Cosmetic treatment will relax the muscles in your face and soften the skin, giving you a more relaxed and youthful appearance. For optimum results, many patients choose to use Botox® in conjunction with a facelift, skin rejuvenation therapy, and/or laser skin resurfacing.

Risks and Side Effects of Botox®

Side effects of Botox® Cosmetic are rare and are usually mild and temporary. The most common side effects caused by Botox® are headaches and temporary redness or bruising of the skin at the site of injection. In rare cases, slight drooping of an eyelid or asymmetry of expression may occur. Any risk of complication can be reduced by choosing a qualified and experienced physician.

Read more about Botox® from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.