INTRODUCTION TO BOTOX and DYSPORT
BOTOX, DYSPORT INJECTIONS
Botox is short for Botulinum toxin which is the toxin that occurs in botulism. Dysport is another brand name for Botulinum Toxin created by different companies. Botox and Dysport work by binding to receptors on muscles and temporarily paralyzing them. Wrinkles are to a large degree caused by the contraction of muscles. As we age the elasticity of the skin is lost and wrinkles appear more prominent due to the muscle contraction. By relaxing the muscles, the skin flattens or smooth out and the wrinkles greatly improve or in some cases disappear altogether.
Because Botox and Dysport work by temporarily paralyzing the muscles, it is important to inject them only into muscles that we wish to paralyzed or weakened. When injecting them, only very microscopic amounts are injected which makes the injections very safe. Botox was first used to treat patients who had severe muscle spasms. When it was used in the eye area for those patients who had blepharospasm (severe spasms and closure of the eyelids), it was noticed that the wrinkles also improved. From this beginning, Botox was used to decrease the wrinkles in the eye and forehead area.
Botox and Dysport are most effective in decreasing the wrinkles in the forehead area that are located between the eyes. These wrinkles are caused by the corrugator and procerus muscles. These muscles are mainly used for frowning or scowling. When they are prominent, they give the patient an angry look even when they are not angry. Because these muscles are essentially not useful and very small, they can be completely paralyzed without adverse effects. The crow’s feet around the eyes and some of the forehead wrinkles are also excellent areas to inject. However because we do not want to paralyze muscles that are needed for facial expression, we cannot treat every wrinkle in the face. For instance, only a very small amount can be used on the wrinkles around the mouth. Also, the forehead wrinkles cannot be completely erased as they are needed to lift the eyebrows.
Regular Injections of Botox and Dysport can be used to prevent wrinkles as well as treat them. Therefore many experts recommend that patients start treatment with Botox in their early twenties even before wrinkles appear.
How they are administered:
Botox and Dysport are injected directly into the muscle with a very small needle. Normally many small injections are needed to correct the wrinkles. Each little injection is like a tiny pinprick. With each injection, only a very small amount is injected, less than a droplet. Think of it as if each wrinkle needs one or two small injections. The total amount injected is dependent on the areas that a patient would like to have corrected. The more wrinkles the patient wants to improve, the more toxin has to be injected.
How long does Botox and Dysport work?
After it is injected it takes 2 to 10 days to see the effects of Botox. Dysport works a little faster and can begin to see the effects as early as 24hr later with full effect 10 days. Do not expect the results become apparent in the same day. The effects of Botox and Dysport last about 3 to 4 months. Some patients can develop “immunity” to the toxin and it will not last as long in these patients.
Are Botox and Dysport safe?
These toxins are very safe when administered by well-trained specialists. It is not safe when given by untrained or poorly trained individuals. Because they seem so easy to administer, many people are trying to do it. Some of them poorly trained or even untrained. There have even been instances where non-medical Botox has been used resulting in serious consequences and prolonged hospitalizations. This is why it is important to receive your Botox only under the direction of a board certified plastic surgeon and his/her highly trained medical providers.
What is the cost of the Botox and Dysport?
Typically we charge $10 a unit for Botox. Dysport on average is $3.50 a unit. The average forehead lines, frown lines, and crows feet take 50 units using Botox. For Dysport, it take approximately 150 units. Therefore the usual charge to treat the frown lines between the eyes, the entire forehead, and the crows feet is $400-$500. Our charge is about the average cost.