A minimally invasive treatment for fine lines and wrinkles
Botox® is the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, but how does it work and is it safe?
Botox® Cosmetic is a brand name of botulinum toxin – a toxin produced by bacterium found in plants, soil, water, and animals. When administered in small doses by a trained professional, the toxin can help decrease the appearance of facial wrinkles.
“Botox® is a highly purified neurotoxin and it is widely used as a cosmetic treatment for the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Laura VanderKelen, RN injector at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic. “It is safe and considered minimally invasive when compared to surgical cosmetic procedures.”
VanderKelen has a deep understanding of facial anatomy and works closely with the clinic's fellowship-trained plastic surgeons.
How does Botox® work?
“It works by blocking neuromuscular signals in the targeted area, causing temporary relaxation or weakening of specific muscular contractions in the face,” VanderKelen says. “The muscle relaxation reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.”
However, people shouldn’t worry about looking unnatural.
“As a trained professional, the first thing I do when I meet a new patient is ask them about the level of movement they’d like to see from their treatment,” she says.
Some people want a little more fluidity and some people want every area treated.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment,” she adds. “That’s why we have those important conversations before we start the injection.”
Botox® is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe frown lines (11’s), crow’s feet and forehead lines.
Treatment requires minimal downtime, and people may begin to see results as early as two days after treatment with peak effect happening around 14 days, VanderKelen says.
Results can last anywhere from three to six months.
“People come to me all the time and say they don’t like their frown lines, or they don’t like their crow’s feet, or they’ll look at themselves in pictures and say they don’t like the way their forehead looks,” she says. “Botox® is a really great way to help people regain that confidence and feel better about the appearance of those lines.”