BOTOX® Cosmetic



What is Botox®?

For good reason, Botox® is the most popular treatment among our patients at The Art and Science of Dermatology for softening facial wrinkles and providing a refreshed look. Our patients know when it is time to get their Botox, and the great and natural-looking results they get, often times based on comments from unknowing friends, families, and co-workers relative to when they have had their last treatment. It is a universal phenomenon; we hear about it from patients every day. It is a relatively cost-effective treatment that involves a quick and easy injection process. It can make an incredibly positive impact on your wrinkle profile as you age, if started early enough and kept up with. It is a smart and fun way to do something really nice for yourself. As far as we are concerned, Botox is a no-brainer.

How Does Botox® Work?

Botox®, the botulinum toxin of choice used at The Art and Science of Dermatology, is a very safe and effective cosmetic treatment for softening of lines and wrinkles caused by muscle contraction on the face, neck and chest when the neurotoxin is appropriately injected with tiny fine needles in small dilute amounts by an experienced talented medical healthcare provider with sound scientific knowledge of anatomy and an artistic eye.  

Botox Roanoke VAThe face has sets of muscles that contract during every day facial expressions over which the skin wrinkles as the muscle shortens in contraction. The muscles move facial tissue in various directions: up, down, inward and outward. Using Botox to provide aesthetic improvement is about more than just treating wrinkles. It is about facial balance. Balance must be maintained, restored or enhanced. Wrinkles can be reduced or eliminated, however if facial balance is lost, it will negatively over shadow wrinkle improvement. Individualized treatments are key as each person’s face varies in its features as well as muscle size and strength.

Botox® works by binding to the nerve and preventing the release of a neurotransmitter from the nerve called acetylcholine (that has all sorts of functions in the body).  The absence of the acetylcholine, the ‘message’ if you will, in the space between the nerve and the muscle, prevents the muscle from getting the ‘message’ to contract. This is why Botox best targets dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are wrinkles that are not apparent on the skin when the muscle is not contracting in facial expression. As we age, with repeated facial expressions and muscle movement that causes the skin to wrinkle up, the wrinkle to some degree or another (more so with time and degree and frequency of muscle contraction) develops a permanent component. That is, even when the muscle is not contracting in facial expression, the wrinkle is still there, though to a less extent than during facial expression/muscle contraction. So therefore, part of the consultation is to assess and discuss the degree to which one has a static (hyper-dynamic) component to their wrinkles. We will be able to soften the static component, but not eliminate it, given it is there even when the muscle is not contracting, and that is how Botox works, by decreasing the muscle contraction. If the wrinkle is there without muscle contraction, then stopping or softening the muscle contraction is not going to eliminate the wrinkle. So this is why for best Botox benefit, you need to start early enough.  Do not despair! Botox can still usually make a big difference if you get going and stick with it, but you will have lost your chance at best benefit. Don’t try to judge yourself.  That is why a consultation is so important.

What is the BOTOX® procedure like?

The actual injection process takes only seconds to a few minutes in a typical session depending on what is being treated. The majority of the time is spent in consultation and planning at your first visit, and assessing for any needed changes at subsequent treatment sessions through time as aging occurs sometimes necessitating a change in injection plan.  

Pain perception for any procedure varies from individual to individual. Though most of our patients choose not to have any anesthetic prior to their Botox treatments, it certainly is our pleasure to provide such as requested. A topical numbing cream can be applied for about 20 minutes prior to treatment. Some patients get anesthetic effect  from ice packs applied to the skin before treatment.  

Bruising is the most common side effect. Rarely a patient will report headache after treatment. And of course, since Botox works by temporarily weakening the muscle, a weakness of greater degree than desired in the treated muscle, or unintended weakness in an adjacent muscle due to diffusion through the adjacent tissues can occur. A skilled injector reduces this risk.

The goal is a natural best-you look, allowing for normal facial expressions, enhancing your baseline beauty (we are all beautiful). No frozen faces allowed!

Learn more about other injectable treatments that compliment Botox

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