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What is Botox?
Botox is a purified protein called “onabotulinumtoxinA,” that has a very powerful property of relaxing muscles that it comes into contact with. This powerful relaxation is temporary, and lasts about 100 days (it’s easiest to think of it as about 3 months) before another treatment will then be necessary to relax the muscles once again.
There are normal muscles in the face that have a function in our facial expressions. However over time hyperactive muscles can create deep wrinkles in the skin of the face, which can often be effectively treated by relaxing the muscles underneath.
What does Botox treat?
Botox treats a number of areas of the face and body. A brief description of what Botox injections can treat is below, or you can click the link to learn more about the areas treated with Botox. San Francisco may not have strong sun, but everyone will develop lines later in their lifetime.
Horizontal forehead lines – Forehead wrinkles that happen when we raise our brows.
Vertical frown lines (a.k.a. the 11’s) –
The vertical or diagonal lines that form in-between the brows when we show anger.
Crow’s feet –
These are the wrinkles outside of the eyes which appear during a bright ‘squinty’ smile.
Brow lift –
A 2-3 millimeter small brow lift can sometimes be achieved with a Botox administration to the outer brow area.
“smoker’s lines” –
Little wrinkles around the mouth that form when the lips pucker.
Jaw reduction –
Treatment of jaw muscle enlargement can soften the outer jaw area.
Neck bands –
Neck bands that happen during speaking or smiling can often be treated with Botox.
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) –
Excessive sweating in the scalp, underarms, lower breasts, the palms and the feet can respond to Botox treatments.
How much is used for each area?
For most areas where wrinkle improvement is the goal, 25 units of Botox are used for an effective treatment. Botox is usually priced per unit, but there are some Botox San Francisco offices that price per area so it’s a good idea to be sure that 25 units are being used. Sometimes these offices will use only 20 units per area and patients should ask to be sure they are getting an effective treatment dose.
For the lips, commonly only 4-8 units are used per lip. For the neck, it can vary but usually 4-8 units per neck band are used. Hyperhidrosis commonly requires 100 units total (50 per side) for the scalp and underarm areas, and potentially as much as 75 units per side for the hands or feet. For treatment of masseter hypertrophy with Botox, 25 units are used per side.
For more information about Botox injections click here.