All about BOTOX®
BOTOX® is now a household name…some of us know it as a popular cosmetic procedure while others consider it to be a thing that freezes your face and makes you look plastic. Our perception of Botox® has been influenced by the media and other sources of muddied information. My goal is to teach you the medical aspects of BOTOX® and educate you on why I think it is a safe medication – and I will base my teachings on facts.
First, BOTOX® is an FDA-approved medication and is the most widely researched toxin available. In fact, as a medication (or drug) BOTOX® has over 500 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals to date. This means that the use and understanding of BOTOX® is extremely validated and supported scientifically – not just by company opinion or sponsored research. It has been totally tested, and tried and re-tried again and examined and analyzed for various uses in the medical space.
BOTOX® is safe as a cosmetic procedure because I have used it first hand for over 15 years.
But despite my personal use, I want to elucidate some key features of BOTOX® so you can see how safe it is.
- Botox® was first approved for therapeutic or medical purposes since 1989. That is over 30 years ago – so there is a long standing history of doctors using this drug and many patients to learn from.
- It was first approved for skeletal muscle related conditions in children and adults. Conditions like limb spasticity, or blephrospasm (constant eye twitching) were caused by chronic involuntary muscle contraction and BOTOX® was used to relax these muscles so patients could become more functional.
- It was later approved for cosmetic use in 2002…again, this is nearly 20 years of use. This is not a NEW drug!
- The average doses we use for cosmetic BOTOX® is very low. For cosmetic purposes we use approximately 10-60 units every 3 months (depending on areas that are treated). While the safe dose for a medical or therapeutic indication is up to 400 units every 3 months.
- BOTOX® is approved in kids as young as 2 years old! These is for medical purposes but it shows that this medication is safe in even very young children.
- BOTOX® is approved for use in 98 countries around the world, including the United States.
- Over 100 million vials have been administered since 2002. Wow. That’s a lot of medication and a lot of information to lean on when studying and assuring safety!
BOTOX® is a safe cosmetic procedure. Now let me teach you how it works and some secrets on how we use it to make you look younger and more refreshed.
*individual results may vary
How Does BOTOX® Work?
The word Botox is the trade name for a medication which has the active ingredient Botulinum Toxin Type A. Botulinum Toxin Type A is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Yes! Botox is a drug
In medical settings, it is used as an injectable form of sterile, purified botulinum toxin. Small doses of the toxin are injected into the affected muscles and block the release of the chemical acetylcholine, which would normally signal the muscle to contract. Reducing facial muscle movement and contraction leads to softening of wrinkles caused by facial expressions. Wrinkles that are present will gradually smooth out, and new wrinkles are prevented from forming since facial expression is limited.
The effects of BOTOX® appear within 7-10 days from treatment and results typically last for 3 months before another treatment is needed. Patients who routinely have BOTOX® injections find they need injections less frequently for the same results. There is no downtime with BOTOX®.
How Safe is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® injections are delivered in small doses to specific FDA approved muscles of the face. As of June 2018, there have been 528 scientific articles published in peer reviewed journals which makes botox the most widely researched toxin available. There is very little danger in having BOTOX® medically administered in injection form.
Statistically speaking, there were only 36 cases in the US of adverse effects from cosmetic BOTOX® use reported between 1989 and 2003. Of those, 13 were considered a reaction due to unknown underlying conditions. Medical professionals believe the risk of cosmetic use of BOTOX® is smaller than even therapeutic uses (such as for migraines or hyperhidrosis) because the doses are much lower.
The BOTOX® Safety Difference at ZENA Medical
Because BOTOX® is in high demand, many med spas and salons advertise BOTOX® specials or host BOTOX® parties without having proper certification to administer injections safely. They don’t always guarantee their BOTOX medication comes from Allergan, the only manufacturer approved to provide BOTOX in the US. At ZENA Medical, we only source our BOTOX® supply from Allergan, so you can be sure your medication has passed the rigorous testing required by the FDA and meets or exceeds all pharmaceutical safety production standards.
The biggest safety measure, however, is with your provider. The education, training, certification, experience, and anatomical knowledge of your BOTOX® injection specialist makes an enormous difference in the quality and safety of your BOTOX® injection results.
Dr. Zenovia Gabriel and the ZENA Medical team aren’t just performing BOTOX® 101 basic injections for our patients. Every patient is unique in how your expressions affect your appearance, from the way you move your eyebrows, how frequently you smile or squint, and the depth of that muscle motion. This affects how the lines your skin form and how deeply they’re etched.
Correcting this takes artistry, extensive knowledge of the underlying physiology and anatomy of facial expressions, and a surgical level understanding of how your facial muscles affect your expressions and skin. We’re not just relaxing frown lines and softening crow’s feet. We’re pausing movement of your muscles and how you wear your emotions. Inexperienced injectors without enough knowledge can leave you surprised or frozen, without the ability to express yourself naturally for months.
At ZENA Medical, we analyze your facial expressions closely, evaluate your individual anatomy, and thoroughly discuss with you a total treatment plan to create a more rested and relaxed look. Perhaps your brow needs lifted, a softer lip curl will correct a gummy smile, or tapering your jaw will bring better balance to your facial symmetry. These are all things BOTOX® can do in the hands of a ZENA Medical injection specialist.
Your safety and satisfaction with your BOTOX® procedure is always the number one priority at ZENA Medical.