The most popular cosmetic treatment in the United States is BOTOX®. Houston- and Pasadena-area residents are certainly no strangers to the injectable that prevents wrinkles from appearing on the forehead, to the sides of the eyes, and elsewhere, but being aware of the treatment and knowing how it works are two different things. Dr. Christine Cheng and the team at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics seek to educate patients about BOTOX® before and after their treatment, with an aim to provide the best results possible in a safe, welcoming environment.
Though there are millions of BOTOX® injections performed in the country each year, the treatment that matters most to you is yours, which is why Dr. Cheng works to provide personalized service and focused, individualized care. Learn the answers to your questions, including "How long does BOTOX® last?" and "How much is BOTOX®?" by reading the information here or speaking with someone at the practice.
Even if you know the name and have some idea of what BOTOX® does, a closer look can be helpful to anyone considering or preparing for a treatment session.
It's good to start with the basics. Since we're talking about wrinkles, you should know how wrinkles form. The explanation is much more complex than "because we get older."
Our skin is typically smooth and unlined throughout our youth, thanks to an abundance of substances that keep it moist and flexible, including hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. The older we get, the less we have of that nourishing mix of proteins and carbohydrates, so as repeated muscle use creates folds and lines with every smile, frown, and scowl, the impacted skin becomes increasingly unable to bounce back into an unlined state.
We eventually see everything from fine lines to deep furrows forming in the most active areas of our faces. Unlike dermal fillers, which literally fill in grooves and sunken areas, BOTOX® reduces the appearance of wrinkles by preventing the active muscles in question from contracting and pulling down on the overlying skin.
BOTOX® is what's known as a neuromodulator, which means it changes the way information travels from nerve to nerve. In the case of facial wrinkles, BOTOX®, made from a purified form of the botulinum toxin, stops the message to contract from being received by key muscles in the forehead and other areas of the face.
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The U.S. FDA has approved BOTOX® for use in two key areas of the face to treat the wrinkles that form there: glabellar lines and crow's feet.
Glabellar lines are sometimes referred to as 11's, given that they're two short vertical lines that resemble the number in question. These lines develop between the eyebrows where the forehead draws in and down, and their presence can create a stern or angry appearance.
Crow's feet appear as a thin network of lines that starts at the corner of each eye and fans out from there. They crinkle up with every smile and squint, and because of that, they're also frequently called "laugh lines."
BOTOX® is also frequently used as a cosmetic treatment on other areas that, despite not being FDA approved, have a history of treatment at the hands of medical professionals seeking to give their patients quality results.
Common so-called "off-label" uses include targeting key muscles to provide a temporary eyebrow lift and create a more alert appearance, relaxing muscles near the mouth that cause an excess amount of gums to appear when the patient smiles, smoothing lips lines, reshaping a square, more masculine jawline to regain more youthful and feminine contours, and softening the appearance of prominent platysmal bands on the neck.
Because this is a minimally invasive treatment, it requires little to no down time for recuperation. The session itself may last as little as 10 to 15 minutes, and many patients return to their daily activities shortly after leaving Nuveau Medical Aesthetics. Results tend to last around three to four months, and there is some indication that repeat treatments lead to better long-term results.
The idea is that multiple treatments in essence "train" the targeted muscles to relax. Each injection of BOTOX® Cosmetic allows a muscle to rest for several months, which gives all of your face an opportunity to get used to operating without its frequent contractions. Over time, this could lead to less use of the muscle in relation to everyday expressions, which translates to less pulling of the skin above.
Some people capitalize on this idea by choosing to get their first BOTOX® Cosmetic injections in their early 30s or even 20s as part of an effort to stop wrinkles before they start. Muscles that don't contract are muscles that can't cause increasingly deep furrows to form on the forehead, or fine lines to fan out from the outside corners of your eyes.
Talk to Dr. Cheng at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics to learn more about "preventative" BOTOX® and other information related to its ongoing use.
While there are some risks associated with BOTOX® Cosmetic, the most commonly reported side effects are generally mild and temporary. They include discomfort at the site of the injections, head or neck aches, dry mouth, and swelling or drooping eyelids. Dr. Cheng can address any concerns you may have and answer your specific questions at your complimentary consultation.
Men and women alike choose BOTOX® Cosmetic as a way to refresh their appearance, though women tend to seek an overall rejuvenated face, while men seem to prefer to preserve a few small signs of their age as a marker of experience.
During your consultation, you should also discuss with Dr. Cheng any other medications or prescriptions you are taking or have taken recently, especially those that contain the botulinum toxin. That said, BOTOX® can be safely paired with other facial treatments, such as fillers, chemical peels, and more. You want to be sure that everyone on the team is aware of your ultimate goals and plans for your face. As you develop a plan, you can discuss cost, frequency of future visits, maintenance, and more.
BOTOX® Cosmetic has been the subject of numerous tests, focusing on its efficacy as a wrinkle-smoothing injectable and its continued safe use as an aesthetic treatment.
While BOTOX® is arguably most popular for its cosmetic application, it was used for patients with medical issues for years. Prior to its ascent as a wrinkle fighter, BOTOX® was used by ophthalmologists to treat intermittent eyelid spasms. The key ingredient is ideal for temporarily preventing certain muscle contractions, helping to address bladder-control issues and relieving the crippling effects of chronic migraines.
While Nuveau Medical Aesthetics focuses only on cosmetic applications for BOTOX®, its other uses are mentioned here to emphasize its track record of safety.
It should also be noted that patients seeking BOTOX® Cosmetic are advised to limit their search to doctors who are trained in its use and who focus on skin health and beauty. Since BOTOX® Cosmetic is so popular and widely available, dentist offices and salons alike offer it to their clients, but skin is obviously not the focus of their business.
Nuveau Medical Aesthetics is a skin-focused practice, led by a physician with 10 years of experience in treating aesthetic patients with BOTOX®, dermal fillers, and laser procedures.
Sometimes you just need to see results for yourself. Check out photos on this website to see BOTOX® before and after comparisons. Dr. Cheng will also make more images available for visitors who come to Nuveau Medical Aesthetics for a consultation.
Note that while all BOTOX® injections happen in generally the same way, no two faces are alike, so no two treatments will be exactly the same, and neither will the results. The best expectations to have are not that you will look just like the model from the ad in a magazine, or patient from the before and after picture, but that you will look like a younger, less-stressed, smoother you.
That said, BOTOX® before and after images can give you a good idea about the sort of facial transformation possible in Houston. Dr. Cheng works to create subtle, natural-looking results, as opposed to obvious alterations that can make a patient appear overdone. If you have a question about anything you see in the before-and-after photo gallery, let her know during your complimentary consult.
The lines and creases that form due to repeated muscle use, some of which can be prevented by BOTOX®, are known as dynamic wrinkles.
Another type of wrinkle—static wrinkles—forms without much help from muscle activity. These wrinkles appear on their own where the skin is loose enough to create lines after losing the valuable elements mentioned above: hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. These beneficial chemicals break down over time, a process hastened by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, pollutants, and other harmful agents. While collagen and more can be replaced naturally, production also tapers off as years go by. Basically, the older you get, the more valuable proteins and carbohydrates you lose, and the less you replace.
As BOTOX® temporarily smooths out dynamic wrinkles, dermal fillers can do the same for static wrinkles, though by a different mechanism. Radiesse®, Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and other fillers temporarily replace the lost components that give youthful skin its smooth roundness.
The same process that causes static wrinkles can also lead to facial volume loss, creating sunken or hollow areas where tissue flattens or sags. Voluma® is another dermal filler, but its design allows for larger-scale volume replacement. Injections to the apple area of the cheeks can provide a lifting effect that restores youthful contours.
The effects of dermal fillers and BOTOX® can be combined to give a face an overall refreshed appearance. Talk to Dr. Christine Cheng and the team at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics to learn how to maximize results with these and other options. Dr. Cheng's medical experience and artistic eye allow her to assess each patient's face and determine what treatment or series of treatments would best deliver the intended results.
Also, be aware that while BOTOX® Cosmetic quite effectively deals with facial wrinkles, it is not designed to address tone or uneven pigmentation. Patients who want a treatment for clearer skin in addition to smoothing out lines can choose from a variety of options, including microneedling, IPL (intense pulsed light), and laser resurfacing (Micro Laser Peels and Profractional).