What is Botox?
Botulinumtoxin-A, more commonly shortened to Botox (a brand name), is a Health Canada, and FDA-approved drug used for both medical and cosmetic procedures. Botox is one of the most widely tested and studied products in the world. It is used for a multitude of medical purposes, in many medical specialties, but it is most known within the plastic surgery specialty and is also well known as a simple, non-surgical treatment to smooth those persistent Angry Lines, Crow’s Feet or Forehead lines that develop from repeated muscle contractions. Small amounts of Botox have the ability to target the exact muscles which control wrinkles and temporarily relax them. It is not a one time only treatment, as it lasts approximately 3 months. Many people choose to maintain their Botox treatment, by returning 3 or 4 times per year.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles, medically referred to as rhytids, are the creases, folds, or deeper crevasses we all become familiar with as we age. The first wrinkles we notice usually occur as a result of repetitive facial expressions over a period of time – think of how often we squint from the sun/poor eyesight, or scowl to produce angry lines. Besides repetitive motions, there are other factors that contribute to wrinkles: sun exposure, smoking, and dehydration are a few.
Wrinkles are just a part of the aging process. As we get older our skin starts to get thinner, is drier, loses its elasticity, and is more prone to sun damage.
Even if wrinkles bring with them a certain look of wisdom and experience, most people are not exactly ready to welcome their wrinkles with open arms. Botox is used either as a preventative measure, or as a reaction to lines that are already appearing on the face to help restore a more youthful appearance.
How Does Botox Work?
Dr. Brooks, or one of our nurse injectors Kara or Amanda, will inject small amounts of Botox into the muscles that cause your wrinkles and the Botox will temporarily paralyze them. The result is that the skin gradually becomes smoother and appears less wrinkled. Botox is commonly used for the three cosmetic on label uses: to improve the creases and lines many people develop between their eyebrows (the glabella), to smooth the horizontal lines across our foreheads, or to relax the Crow’s Feet lines around the eyes. These lines overall make us appear older than we really are. Have you been squinting lots lately? Has someone recently asked you why you look worried, concerned, or tired? Botox can treat these areas effectively, and with very little discomfort.
What Are Dynamic Wrinkles?
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by the muscle contractions beneath your skin. These contractions result in muscle memory, which forms lines. Dynamic wrinkles happen to areas of our faces that are animated or expressive, but it is not like any one of us is willing to give up laughing, smiling, grimacing or frowning to prevent wrinkles from forming.
Dynamic wrinkles are often found in:
- Our Crow’s Feet Around the Eyes
- Our Frown/Angry lines Between the Eyes
- Our Forehead Creases
- Our Upper lip Creases
- Our Neck bands
Botox treatments can help in these areas. We can tailor the dosing to allow you to maintain some expression, especially for some men who want to keep their stern look, but wish to lose their crow’s feet.
What are Static Wrinkles?
Static wrinkles are caused by the aging process when our collagen levels are less productive and our natural hyaluronic acid breaks down. This type of wrinkle does not respond to Botox, but could be treated in some cases with a dermal filler.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The usual length of time you can expect your Botulinumtoxin-A treatment to last is about 3 months. The company that makes Botox will only allow us to enter your cosmetic treatment Brilliant Distinctions points after 3 months have passed, because they know it is meant to last that long in most people. The majority of our patients choose to have it every 3 months to maintain the look they love.
How Much Does Botox Cost?
The exact cost of your Botox treatment depends on a few factors like your desired amount of movement for expression, the number of areas that you’d like to be treated and the amount of Botox required. We price our Botox per unit, for example, if you need 35 units it will be less than someone else who might require 55 units. Our nurse injectors inject at at rate of $10.00 per unit, and Dr. Brooks injects at a rate of $13.00 per unit. Our office is partnered with the various companies: Allergan for Botox, Galderma for Dysport, and Merz Pharmaceuticals for Xeomin and there are often coupons that may be applied to your treatments. Obviously, we have to follow the parameters for those coupons, but in the past there have been 100.00 off coupons for new patients, or 50.00 off Visa Gift Cards as Rebates when spending over 300.00 before taxes on their products.
What is the difference between the Botulinumtoxin-A products: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Nuceiva?
To you the patient, there is not much of a difference. Chemically, these products are almost identical, with only slight variances. Each company will claim something spectacular about their product. They’d be bad sales reps if they didn’t make theirs sound like it was the best. So what are the claims? Some patients have found one to kick in sooner than the others, some find one lasts slightly longer than the others, and some patients may be allergic to an ingredient and will choose one of the other options for medical reasons. If you have insurance and are receiving the toxin for medical purposes like underarm hyperhydrosis, Bruxism from teeth clenching/grinding & TMJ tension, or chronic migraines, then your insurance company may only cover one over another.
The differences are more for your injector to be aware of. There are differences in the way the products are prepared, as the ratios for preparing the products are different. There are also differences in the way the products diffuse (spread) once injected, as some spread farther than others – that may mean less pokes for you!
Conclusion: These differences are nothing for you to worry about as long as your injector has experience and training for all of various products. When it comes right down to it, if you’d like to try one brand over another, just to see which one you like the best, we will work with you to determine which product will be best for you. We respect your wishes. Have a coupon you’d like to use for one brand over another? Let us know before injections start so we can be sure you can redeem it for the right product.
What Are The Side Effects?
Please go to our drop down menu and click on each product to link to the various company websites for the latest product monograph and their list of potential side effects.
How do I know if I am a good candidate?
The easiest way to find out if you are a good candidate for Botox, is to come for a free consultation appointment. We can state the reasons why someone would be a good candidate, but without having a review of your medical history, your medications, and a physical evaluation, we can’t say for sure whether you should have the Botox treatment or not. Your safety is our priority and we are thorough with our consultations.
How do I book a free consultation?
- If the treatment is medical in nature, you must call to book your appointment at 403-487-0460. Which Botox treatments are Medical?
- chronic migraine headache sufferers – covered by AHS (provincial)
- hyperhydrosis – fancy word for overly sweaty armpits/hands (not through AHS, but sometimes your personal insurance will cover it -we’ll help you find out)
- Bruxism teeth clenching/grinding, TMJ pain (not through AHS, but sometimes your personal insurance will cover it- we’ll help you find out)
- For cosmetic treatments (frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead lines) you may book in multiple ways
- through this website on the Botox page – scroll down to the scheduler calendar,
- through our facebook page- look for the scheduler calendar, messenger messages may not get to us as fast as booking yourself so you might miss your desired time slot
- through the Mindbody app or website – search for our clinic under the title Dr. Trevor Brooks Plastic Surgery
- through a call between 9-4 to 403-487-0460