You are here

How does BOTOX work? Understanding injectables and fillers

Dr Mitchell Flurry

Injectables, such as BOTOX®, and fillers are a popular way of dealing with fine lines and wrinkles.

The most common uses of BOTOX are to treat the “number 11” lines between the eyebrows, “bunny” wrinkles at the top of the nose, and the wrinkles that appear on the forehead. It can also be used to treat crow’s feet around the eyes and the upper lip.

The decision of how many units of BOTOX will be needed depends on how many locations you have with wrinkle lines.

BOTOX is sold by the unit. Most women get between 30 and 45 units of BOTOX when I do the initial injection. For example, four to six injections may be needed to treat the “number 11” lines between the eye brows. Treating the wrinkles on the forehead could mean another five to six injections.

The injections only take a few minutes, even if you are treating all of the target areas that have been previously mentioned.

It’s a relatively painless procedure; patients often report feeling a bee sting. There may also be a little swelling. The biggest complication can be some temporary bruising.

Typically BOTOX injections last three to six months. The initial onset takes between five and seven days.

In essence, BOTOX paralyzes the muscles that are being injected. Sometimes, if the wrinkles have been around for a long time, the BOTOX itself is not enough to treat them. In these cases fillers may be used to help fill out wrinkles to get rid of the deep creases.

Fillers are used in many different areas, often along the nasolabial folds, which are commonly known as "smile lines" or "laugh lines.” They can also be used for the “marionette lines” on either side of the mouth.

Some of the new fillers are thicker or more cohesive and are used deep in the cheeks. We can use deep injections with long-term fillers which can accentuate the cheek bones which results in a lifting of the lower facial features.

Another use of fillers is in the upper or lower lips to get a little more fullness. In these areas we use a less cohesive gel to reduce chances of the gel forming telltale clumps.

BOTOX and fillers are a great way to make a noticeable change in facial features. They are quick and typically associated with minimal pain.

About Mitchell Flurry MD