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Botox® for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Neuromodulators like Botox® have been a popular anti-aging injectable for decades, and a quick peek at patient before and after photos makes it clear why. When you’re tired of seeing your crow’s feet or the “11s” between your brows, you may start to wonder whether it’s time to consider and anti-aging procedure like Botox® for yourself.

This month, we’re learning all about Botox® from Dr. Zhu. If you’re curious about what it is, how it works, or what results you can expect, then read on!


What is Botox® anyway?

Botox® is an injectable neuromodulator that contains Botulinum toxin type A, a bacteria that temporarily inhibits nerve signals to the muscles where it is injected. Neuromodulators address wrinkles caused by repeated muscle movements like smiling, frowning, squinting, pursing your lips, or even chewing. By preventing muscle movement, Botox® relaxes wrinkles and smooths them over time.

There are many types of neuromodulators currently on the market, including Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®. All of these neuromodulators use Botulinum toxin and smooth wrinkles by relaxing muscle movement, but they vary in when they start working, how long they last, and how large of an area they affect.

You can use the various neuromodulators interchangeably. If you’ve tried Dysport® in the past but you’re curious about Botox®, that’s fine! You won’t experience complications from trying different brands of neuromodulators from one appointment to another. Just make sure that you let one fully metabolize before trying another.


Which areas are the best for Botox®?

Neuromodulators work great to address horizontal forehead lines, glabellar lines (commonly called “11s”), crow’s feet, bunny lines around the nose, and fine lines around the mouth from pursing your lips.

Botox® can also be used to treat things other than wrinkles. Many people use neuromodulators to treat a gummy smile or to soften a square jaw. If your jaw muscles are particularly strong, neuromodulator injections can soften the muscles over time to create a softer, more curved jawline.

Many patients who experience hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, benefit from Botox® injections in any area that sweats easily, such as the armpits, palms of hands, scalp, or even the soles of the feet. Botox® is even FDA approved to treat migraines and offers relief to people who suffer from TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction).


What is the procedure like?

When you visit a dermatologist for a neuromodulator injection, he or she will clean your skin and place several shots with a very fine needle. Most patients don’t need the area numbed for treatment because they tolerate it very well. It’s important to see a dermatologist for neuromodulator injections because they have a deep understanding of facial anatomy, so they can correctly place the product to achieve your ideal results.

The dosage that a dermatologist uses depends upon the individual and the strength of his or her muscles. Often, men’s facial muscles are stronger than women’s, so they may need a little more product to achieve their desired wrinkle smoothing. There may be slight swelling at the injection sites that resemble an insect bite, but people typically tolerate neuromodulators well.

You should avoid lying down or bending over for the first few hours after treatment. You should also refrain from rubbing the injections sites, or you risk spreading the neuromodulator to unintended areas of the face. Patients can resume all normal activities within a few hours of treatment and can apply makeup the following day. Slight bruising, redness, and headaches are rare but possible. If you are taking blood thinners, you may bruise more than other patients.


When will you see results?

It typically takes about seven days to see results from Botox®. Results usually last three to four months, but each person metabolizes neuromodulators at different rates.

It may take several sessions of Botox® to reach your desired results, depending on the location and the depth of the wrinkles. For example, crow’s feet are usually shallower than 11s, so they often improve quicker. Keep in mind that it took several years for your wrinkles to develop, so it may take a few months for them to smooth.


Neuromodulator contraindications

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for neuromodulators. You should not seek this anti-aging treatment if you:

  • Have an allergy to Botulinum toxin type A
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have certain neuromuscular conditions, such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Have an active infection or skin inflammation on the day of your appointment


You should inform your dermatologist of any medications or supplements that you’re taking at your consultation.


Get smooth skin today!

If you’re interested in learning more about Botox® or other cosmetic anti-aging procedures, schedule a consultation appointment at Brentwood Dermatology today. We’ll discuss your skin concerns and goals, as well as how much downtime you have available to heal from a procedure. Then, we’ll work together to select the perfect anti-aging strategy for you.

Come and let us help you fall in love with your skin again!


Learn More About Brentwood Dermatology.

The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.

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