A Practice Dedicated to the Principles and Art of Plastic Surgery


The Cosmetic Miracle That Is Botox


Once used medically to calm involuntary muscle spasms, Botox in recent years has gained popularity as a non-surgical face lift, smoothing out the lines and wrinkles that come from the aging of the skin. Even though there was some controversy following its approval by the FDA, mostly because of the presence of a scant amount of bacteria known to cause botulism, it has proven its worth as a miracle cosmetic tool for more than fifteen years.

Want to learn more about Botox? Call Dr. Carter today for a full consultation about what this cosmetic miracle can do for you.

How does it Work?

The chemical mix that comprises Botox injections contains a minute amount of the bacteria Botulinum toxin, as well as carrier proteins that act as blockers to particular nerve cells in the skin. There are chemicals that are normally released by these nerve cells in the skin that cause the facial muscles to tighten, creating those fine lines and wrinkles often enough to make them permanent.

Once injected, the treatment keeps those releases from happening by blocking the nerve cells, and weakening the muscle contractions. This gives the skin a smoother appearance, and relaxes the lines into non-existence. Rumors had it that it paralyzed the facial muscles completely, but rest assured this is simply not true. It just relaxes them, and reduces their responses to tighten up.

Who is a Good Candidate for Botox Injections?

You are a good candidate for these injections if you are in reasonably good health, not pregnant or breastfeeding or under care for another medical condition.

What can Botox Injections Do for Me? What are its Limitations?

Botox injections can be used to reduce the lines around your mouth, forehead and eyes. What they cannot do is reduce the lines and creases caused by sun damage and they are not very effective on deep creases in the face. For that, you may need dermal filler instead.

Done properly, by a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, these treatments should have a gentle and relaxing effect on your facial muscles. Contrary to popular misconception, they will still allow natural expressions such as smiling and frowning to occur. There are some restrictions, however, as to who can safely undergo the series of treatments necessary to erase lines from the face. Always consult with a doctor before beginning this treatment to be certain that you can participate.

How Long Does the Procedure Take? Are there any Side Effects?

It may take several treatments to achieve the look you want. The injections themselves do not hurt, as a very fine needle is used to inject the shot directly into the facial muscles. The whole procedure only takes minutes to complete and is typically done on an outpatient basis; you can return to your normal activities immediately.

Some patients have reported having a headache soon after, but even if you do it is mild and passes off quickly. Care should be taken that you do not lie down until three to four hours have passed since the injection, mainly to avoid the Botox from spreading to other areas in the face. It does take anywhere from three to seven days to fully take effect and it will last upwards of six months.

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