Botulinum  has been utilized both medically and cosmetically  for years to relax muscles.

Cosmetically, the botulinum products include Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.  These products temporarily relax the muscles helping to create fewer dynamic lines.  Commonly treated areas in the upper and  mid face are frown lines, crows feet, forehead lines and bunny lines on the nose.

Commonly treated areas on the lower face are upper lip, (smoker lines) chin, (orange peel) downward turn or pull of mouth (depressor anguli oris or DAO muscle)  along the jawline to help define the jaw (Nefertiti lift) and the platysmal bands in the neck.

You and your provider can determine your goals and decide the best treatment plan.  The provider will have a good understanding of which muscles lift and which muscles pull down allowing for the treatment to have a lifting effect where desired.

The treatment itself involves a series of injections into the muscle with a very fine needle.  Generally your provider will offer numbing cream or ice to minimize any discomfort.  You will be asked to stay upright for 4 hours after your treatment and to avoid vigorous activity/exercise,

Common side effects of treatment are bruising and swelling.  Less common side effects are ptosis of the eyelid, (drooping lid)  headaches, injection site discomfort and heavy brows.  It is possible to have an allergic reaction as well.  There are more serious side effects which have been observed with the use of these products medically as the dosing can be 20-25 x’s more than with the cosmetic uses.

You can minimize the side effect of bruising by avoiding medications or supplements that thin your blood for 4-7 days prior to your treatment.  (aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, etc)

Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not receive treatments.  Of note, people with egg allergies should not receive Botox and people with milk protein allergies should not receive Dysport.  This is due to the possible presence of certain proteins.  Xeomin does not have proteins attached.

If treated with any of the botulinum products one waits up to 2 weeks to see the full effect of the treatment.  It generally takes 7 days (on average) for the product to start relaxing the muscle.  Your provider may want to see you for a 2 week follow up, especially if it is your first treatment.

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