No doubt you have heard about Botox – how it can “erase” wrinkles and treat a wide range of medical conditions. But what exactly is Botox? And what does it do? Or more importantly, what can it do for you? And what are other options for those wanting younger-looking, refreshed skin?
Even before its FDA approval in 2002, Botox was known for its wrinkle-reducing powers among the Hollywood elite. Now definitely more mainstream, the Botox industry attracts patients looking for a younger, more refreshed appearance by reducing lines and wrinkles.
The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic surgery reports that more than 4.5 million people underwent the cosmetic procedure in 2016, a figure that is expected to grow another 10 percent by 2023.
Patients may consider Botox for different reasons – they saw a picture of themselves and didn’t like the way they looked, they were tired of having makeup build up in the creases of their face, or maybe they were mistaken for being angry when they weren’t. Whatever the reason these patients have one thing in common, the lines that time had etched into their faces are causing a major hit to their self-esteem.
Botox is the brand name of Clostridium botulinum, a neurotoxin that occurs naturally in all sorts of places – plants, animals, dirt and water. The toxin acts on the nervous system, weakening and paralyzing muscles in the area where the toxin is introduced – typically in the forehead area, underneath the eyes, or around the mouth. Facial muscles are unable to contract, so the skin covering those muscles also remains relaxed. When muscles don’t contract, damaging biochemicals such as lactic acid are not released, which lessens the effects of aging on the skin. Several studies have also indicated that the injections improve production of collagen, the skin’s firming agent. The very small, localized doses used in Botox treatments are metabolized naturally by your body within three to four months.
Botox sessions take about 15 to 20 minutes, and patients usually see results within three to ten days. Because Botox is metabolized naturally, making it reversible in a few months, the movement in the targeted muscles will eventually start back up and patients will typically need another treatment.
The success of Botox has led to the development of other potent non-surgical cosmetic procedures, known as dermal fillers, which are used to plump and firm areas of the face that have lost volume because of age, sun exposure and other factors. One well-known brand of filler is Juvederm.
Juvederm is an injectable form of hyaluronic acid, a sugar that is naturally present in skin and cartilage. When combined with water, the acid forms a gel that can be used to fill areas of the face where subcutaneous fat has been lost or where hollows have formed due to age-related stretching of the skin. Typically, Juvederm is used to restore fullness in “static” wrinkles, those that are not caused by muscle movements but rather by loss of volume under the skin. The most common area targeted is the nasolabial fold – the area around the mouth where the deep “parentheses” wrinkles appear. Juvederm can also plump the lip and under-eye area, with results lasting as long as two years.
Finding a Provider
As with any cosmetic treatment, be sure to find a provider who is medially trained and certified in the procedure you are considering, as are all the providers at Sona Dermatology & MedSpa, one of the top providers of Botox in the nation. Experience is also key! “I have been injecting Botox and filler for nearly 15 years alongside some of the most experienced injectors in the area,” says Cheryl Blackwell, a nurse practitioner at Sona’s location in The Woodlands. “In my opinion the best injectors are the ones who describe injecting as their ‘true passion.’ A client should look for a provider who has been injecting for several years and has completed advanced Botox and filler training courses.”
Adds Natasha Rockett, an RN at Sona’s Grapevine location, “Botox and dermal fillers are phenomenal tools to have in your beauty arsenal. Clients who come to Sona will get a defined treatment plan and a partner to help them achieve it. They can expect to hear compliments on their youthful skin in place of ‘Who does your injections?’”
Sona Dermatology & MedSpa is the largest full-service aesthetics company in the nation with four locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area and four locations in the Houston area. Sona’s focus has always been its clients, providing them with exceptional service, efficacy, and safety in a comfortable, spa-like atmosphere. Under the oversight of medical directors, treatment professionals maintain strict safety standards and use the most advanced technology to help clients look and feel their best.
To learn more or to book your free consultation online, visit sonaskin.com.