Botulinum Toxin (Botox, Xeomin, Dysport)
Answers to Most Common Questions About Botulinum Toxin (Botox):
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a chemical produced by the bacteria that causes the food-borne illness botulism. When purified for medical purposes, BTX can be used to temporarily paralyze small muscles of the face that cause facial wrinkling. Once these muscles are paralyzed, the wrinkles in the skin overlying the muscle are minimized or eliminated all together. Common areas treated on the face include forehead and brow wrinkles, crow’s feet and small wrinkles around the mouth. Trade names of BTX include Botox and Xeomin.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The temporary paralysis of the facial muscles usually lasts around three to four months per treatment. However, the more treatments you receive the longer each treatment lasts. The reason this happens is that the muscles treated get weaker over time and therefore are less capable of forming wrinkles in the skin. Some regular users of BTX may get effects from a single treatment that last as long as six months.
Will it Hurt?
The needle used to inject the BTX pinches slightly as all needles do. The BTX itself may sting slightly, but this discomfort will last only a few seconds. Many patients find that ice placed on the areas to be treated just prior to injection makes the procedure pain free.
Is BTX Safe?
There are very few temporary side effects reported from the use of BTX. Some patients may get temporary bruising at the injection site. A very small percentage of patients may get temporary weakness in their eyelid muscles that might make them look sleepy. This side effect can be corrected with eye drops and will resolve completely after a few weeks. Some patients may complain of temporary headaches in the days after treatment, but this is very uncommon. There have been no reports of any long-term side effects from the use of BTX.
Can Botox be Used for Any Other Skin Conditions?
Yes! BTX can be used to treat excessive sweating of the hands, feet and armpit areas with excellent results. It is possible to completely eliminate sweating in the areas treated and the effect may last for as long as six months per treatment.
Is Botox Very Expensive and Will My Insurance Pay for the Treatment?
The cost of treatment varies per person, and depends on the amount of BTX used. The average treatment cost is usually between $250-$500. BTX is considered a cosmetic treatment, and is generally not accepted by insurance companies, therefore, payment by the patient is expected at the time of service.