Ask The Expert about the Do’s and Don’ts of Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty
Cherie from Calgary, AB asks:
As the cost of Botox is fairly high, is having forehead injections only once a year an effective plan?
Thanks for the great question! Before I answer it I think it is important to cover some of the latest information on Botox products and also some important historical points.
Botulinum Type A to Botox— a short Background from There to Here
(for outline purposes only- these headings may be deleted from final submission)
Neuromodulators, or “muscle relaxing” injectables were first licensed by the FDA in 1989 but trials preceded that by ten years on human volunteers.
Following trials, it was discovered by the cosmetic industry to have successful long term effects on the reduction of wrinkles. This can be achieved by relaxing the muscles (called the Gabella) which are located between the eyebrows.
Repetitive stress movements cause these particular muscles to contort and produce a “number 11”, or a deep wrinkle between the brows in clients as early as 20 years of age.
Botox (a trade mark of Allergan), has been on the market for over 25 years without competition. There are now three other neuromodulators that have emerged in the past seven or eight years, with two approved for the Canadian market (Dysport, and Xeomin, but more on that in another article).
Botulinum injections do have some risk and some side affects so it is important to be aware of them. Because Botox has been on the market for some time most issues have been addressed, are temporary, our have been resolved in some way or another. For the most part these injections are very safe and highly effective, when administered by a trained professional.
In the end, it is far more important who is providing your treatment, rather than which product you choose. Botox mistakes or negative results are typically made by people, not the product. So as usual, please meet with a cosmetic dermatologist before choosing your treatment and to discuss possible alternatives to Botox.
There are many areas that can be treated with Botox and since you have asked about the forehead we shall focus on that area in this answer. Future articles may cover other areas.
There are several different reasons to treat the forehead. Different areas, different wrinkles, different muscles are treated in different ways. A consultation as to what area you want to address before you go to see a physician will be most helpful so you, the client, are informed of the real cost up front: today’s cost can be anywhere between $200 to $400 dollars or more for the forehead.
Also it is crucial to have the same area retreated every three months at the beginning in order to achieve the full effect of your investment. You will see initial effects as soon as two days and obtain maximum effect after about two weeks. These effects should last at least three months. The treatment then needs to be repeated again four times per year during the first few years.
As time goes on the effects last longer and the body begins to recognize the product. Subsequently the product will metabolize out slower on its own after each use. This usually results in longer duration between treatments, and thus, cost less money to maintain your desired end look.
I’ve always used the motto, “We cannot not stop the natural aging process, but we can sure bring it to a slow crawl.” Scientific studies have recently shown that we can manipulate the body to repair and regenerate itself. This in turn means an exciting future of medical aesthetics.
Michelle Portsmouth CME,HCA