Q: What is botulinum toxin (Botox) and how does it work?
Botox is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles that cause wrinkles. There are several brands of botulinum toxin that are used cosmetically. They work by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the injected muscles. FDA approved botulinum toxins can temporarily improve the appearance of both frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet in adults 18 to 65 years of age.
Q: What does the treatment process entail?
The provider will review your medical history* and ask you about your goals. You will be examined and a customized treatment plan—tailored to your needs—will be discussed.
*It is important to inform your provider about all your medical conditions, allergies, and medications, including over the counter products.
The treatment itself takes about 10 minutes.
- Your physician will use a thin needle to inject tiny amounts of the botulinum toxin into your skin or muscles. The number of injections depends on many factors, including the extent of the area being treated.
- Most people tolerate the injection discomfort well.
Q: What are the possible side effects?
Botox injections are relatively safe when performed by an experienced practitioner.
Serious side effects are rare and will be discussed with you prior to any treatment. The most common side effects are temporary and may include: redness, swelling, bruising and pain at the injection site.
Injections should be placed precisely to avoid side effects.
Q: Is there anyone who should not receive Botox injections?
Yes, those who are allergic to any of the ingredients in the botulinum toxins, those who have had an allergic reaction to any botulinum toxin product such as Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport®, or Xeomin®, and persons with certain muscle or nerve conditions may also be excluded from treatment.
Botox may also have serious interactions with certain prescription and nonprescription medications (antibiotics, muscle relaxants, allergy or cold medications and sleeping pills).
Pregnant and nursing mothers should not receive treatment.
It is also important to know the exact date you last received Botox injections. Treatment with botulinum toxin should not be administered any sooner than 3 months (90 days) from the previous treatment.
Q: How can I prepare for treatment?
Avoid taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, vitamin E, ginger, gingko biloba, ginseng, and garlic 10–14 days before your procedure, as they may cause increased bruising or bleeding.
Do your daily workout before treatment if possible.
Plan in advance. Do not wait until the last minute to have Botox injections before a special event. We recommend treatment 2–4 weeks in advance of the event.
Q: Are injectables different from Botox?
A: Botox is one type of injectable. When you receive Botox, botulinum toxin is injected to a specific location. Other substances may be injected to achieve different cosmetic results. An expert physician, including those at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Vein Treatment Center, can help you determine the right injectable to help you soften specific wrinkles.
Q: What should I do after treatment?
Use your facial muscles! Practice frowning, squinting, and raising your eyebrows for the 1st hour after treatment. Although this is thought to help, it will not negatively affect your treatment if you forget.
You may apply makeup and cleanse your skin using upward and gentle motions, taking care not to apply too much pressure to the treated area(s) until the next day. Massaging or applying pressure over treated areas can cause the neurotoxin to migrate to other regions and could lead to an undesired effect such as ptosis (a droopy eyelid).
You may apply a cool compress to the treatment sites to reduce swelling and bruising.
Avoid strenuous exercise and saunas until the day following treatment. It is also recommended that you avoid lying down or bending over for four hours after treatment.
We will usually see you in 2 weeks for a follow-up appointment, especially after your first treatment. This will allow us to see how you have responded to the treatment. If you require additional treatment, it can be performed at that time.
Q: What is Radiesse®?
A: Radiesse® is a white colored injectable filler that is FDA approved for hands. It is also used for smoothing facial wrinkles and folds.
Q: How can Radiesse® restore the youthful appearance of the hands?
A: Hands naturally lose volume as we age. Radiesse ® can be injected under the skin along the back of the hands to restore volume and lessen the visibility of veins and tendons. It also stimulates the body to produce its own collagen.
Q: Who should not use Radiesse®?
A: Radiesse® should not be used by individuals with severe and/or multiple allergies, including allergies to any of the components of Radiesse® (calcium hydroxylapatite, sterile water, sodium carboxymethylcellulose or glycerin). Those who are pregnant or nursing or that have a bleeding disorder should not use Radiesse® either.
Q: What are the possible side effects of Radiesse®?
A: Most side effects are mild to moderate in nature, related to the injection procedure and last less than 2-3 weeks. Swelling, discomfort, redness and bruising are most common. It is less common to experience difficulty performing activities, itching, and lumps or bumps.
Q: How long will the treatment effects last?
A: Most patients report an immediate improvement in the appearance of their hands that lasts up to 12 months.