Enjoy a More Youthful Face by Smoothing Wrinkles Caused by Facial Movements at Chicago’s Iteld Plastic Surgery
Facial wrinkles can take years to form but only days to smooth out with BOTOX® from Chicago-based plastic surgeon Lawrence Iteld, MD—and, since we’re counting, the injections themselves take only minutes to administer.
If the fact that this treatment works so well, so quickly, leads you to raise your eyebrows in surprise, we’re sorry to say, but that’s part of the problem. Every expression you make to communicate with others and other facial movements from chewing and talking during day-to-day life contribute to what are known as “dynamic wrinkles.” These lines form as muscles pull your facial skin this way and that way as you smile, frown, laugh, pout, and even squint.
Each expression may last only seconds, but consider the multitudes of expressions you make every day, every week, every month, every year, for your entire life. Youthful skin has enough elasticity to remain in a smooth state despite each grin or wink, but after your 20s, you may start to see evidence of those expressions. The solution? Give certain hard-working muscles a break with BOTOX®.
As the COVID-19 lockdowns started in 2020 and continued well into 2021, minimally invasive injectables like BOTOX® saw a rise in popularity as patients took the opportunity to address signs of aging that had a tendency to appear more pronounced in virtual meetings. There’s nothing like seeing yourself on camera to open your eyes to the way you look to the world. Every crease, wrinkle, and fold is on display—and often emphasized by lighting that seems to increase contrast instead of creating a flattering complexion.
Consider, too, that pandemic mask-wearing—while being an effective way to curb the spread of viruses—covers up the mouth and nose, putting others’ attention entirely on the upper third of the face. That also happens to be where dynamic wrinkles like horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet develop.
How Does BOTOX® Work?
Surveys published in 2021 have shown that an increased number of people accept BOTOX® as a normal part of their overall skin care routine—but despite that, many people still wonder about how BOTOX® works. One of the most common questions Dr. Iteld and his team get from patients is: “What does BOTOX® do to your body?”
Well, if you have BOTOX® questions, we have BOTOX® answers.
BOTOX® injections contain a purified form of botulinum toxin, which is known as a “neuromodulator” for its ability to keep nerves from successfully triggering muscle contractions that stretch the skin. Since muscle activity is the culprit behind dynamic wrinkles, reducing that activity can prevent the wrinkles from showing. That means when BOTOX® is injected in just the right place in just the right amount, the targeted muscles gradually relax—even if you try to make them work.
Within a few days of a BOTOX® treatment, you will be able to make whatever expression you like, but the injected muscles will stay at rest. BOTOX® is mostly used for the upper third of the face, on the forehead area and around the eyes, where motion-related wrinkles are likely to form. BOTOX® is approved by the FDA to address horizontal forehead lines, frown lines between the eyes, and crow’s feet.
Younger patients in their 20s and 30s are also now getting “preventative” BOTOX® in the earlier part of their life in order to delay or prevent fine lines from becoming deep, etched-in wrinkles. Routine injections may even be able to “train” active muscles so they stay more at rest, even when not under the influence of BOTOX®. This can help to stop additional wrinkles from appearing—a big plus—because you know what they say about prevention versus cures.
Finding an experienced BOTOX® injector who has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy is the best way to optimize the effects of a successful treatment. Because it is such a powerful and effective option, only Dr. Iteld, Nurse Injector Desirée Martinez, and Nurse Practitioner Nadia Shirani administer BOTOX® at Iteld Plastic Surgery. They have undergone rigorous training to maximize patient safety along with excellent results.
Am I a Good Candidate for BOTOX® Injections in Chicago?
BOTOX® has become the most frequently requested cosmetic treatment in the world for a reason (it works), with literally millions upon millions of injections performed each year around the globe, including 2020 and 2021. Considering that, just about anyone who wants a nonsurgical solution for the problem of dynamic wrinkles may be a good candidate.
People with certain allergies and conditions should avoid getting BOTOX®, but these specifics will be discussed at a personal consultation. For some patients, a different neuromodulator—Dysport®, Xeomin®, or Jeuveau™, or one of the newer products, some of which are expected as soon as 2021—may be recommended.
Brides, in particular, make good candidates for BOTOX®, as the treatment can be done in the weeks before the wedding and requires no recuperation or downtime afterward. Treatments are so quick, they can easily be scheduled between dress fittings and visits to the florist.
How Do I Prepare for BOTOX®?
The BOTOX® procedure is simple, low-risk, and doesn’t require much preparation. It’s important, however, to be careful about the types of medications and supplements you use prior to your injections, as these can affect your recovery and results. During your consultation, ask about what you should not do before BOTOX®. Blood thinners— like aspirin, antioxidant supplements, and anti-inflammatory medications— may be generally avoided for a few weeks before having BOTOX® injections, as these can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding by making blood vessels more fragile.
But don’t sacrifice health for beauty! If you are taking any blood thinners for medical reasons, please keep taking them! Talk to your primary care physician about your options and bring up your condition at your consultation at Iteld Plastic Surgery. We can work out what the best plan of action will be to get the results you want.
Results and Recovery After BOTOX® Injections
It usually takes just a few minutes for a BOTOX® procedure to be completed. Injections can be done during your lunch break, and most patients are able to resume their regular daily activities without needing to take any time away from work—but if you want to use BOTOX® as an excuse to bow out of dinner with your in-laws later, we won’t stop you.
Injections of any kind typically result in some sort of minor reaction, which may include tenderness, redness, bruising, or discomfort. These side effects resolve on their own in a matter of days—if not hours—as the active ingredient gets to work. It’s important to remember that BOTOX® results aren’t typically noticeable for a few days. Even then, it can take a little longer for the full effect of BOTOX® injections to be apparent.
Once you see the expected results, you may start wondering: When does BOTOX® wear off? In all, patients can expect their smoother-skinned appearance—once it develops—to last for three to four months. Some of the newer products that are pending approval have proven efficacy as long as six months! Anyone who prefers this newly youthful look to the furrows and folds associated with renewed muscle activity can schedule a new treatment.
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Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Lawrence Iteld, MD, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and a highly regarded Chicago based plastic surgeon, receiving awards from Chicago Magazine's Top Docs, and Castle Connolly Top Doctors®.Read More Book an Appointment
What is BOTOX® Aftercare and Maintenance Like?
Strenuous workouts at the gym usually aren’t advisable during the first day, and you should avoid bending over, lying down, or placing too much pressure on the injected areas for a few hours.
Maintain a normal heart rate and leave the part of your face where you had the injections alone, because the BOTOX® needs time to settle. The increased blood flow resulting from exercise could cause the BOTOX® to spread from the injection site and impact other surrounding areas, making the results appear less ideal than you hoped. Additionally, muscle contractions involved in exercise may cause the active ingredient to be less effective, as well as make bruising more likely.
You should also avoid having other skin treatments, using makeup, drinking alcohol, and exposing yourself to sunlight or heat for at least a day after your session. Unfortunately, you’ll have to put any dreams of relaxing in saunas or hot tubs on hold for a little while longer.
Since results from BOTOX® are temporary, patients will eventually need to have additional injections if they want to preserve their smoother skin. However, there are some things patients can do to prolong their BOTOX® results and prevent further signs of aging or damage from occurring. A good skincare regimen is essential for patients because healthy skin responds better to treatments.
You may also need to make some changes to your lifestyle, such as stopping smoking (or not starting in the first place), along with minimizing or cutting out excess sugar and other foods that cause inflammation. The overall goal is not to get rid of anything good and fun from your life, but to maintain strong skin.
Keep your skin hydrated with products containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin to help minimize wrinkles, and use powerful ingredients like retinols to stimulate collagen regeneration and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects from solar/UV damage.
If you want to extend the lifespan of injections between BOTOX® appointments, make an effort to avoid squinting or scowling while you’re working out—or any time, really. Try relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation that can relieve stress, which is a contributor to premature aging. We understand that 2020 and 2021 haven’t exactly been the most relaxing of years, so you do a lot of meditation. Buy some candles.
Regularly taking zinc supplements before and after a BOTOX® treatment is believed to be a way of increasing the longevity of the injections’ effects. Wearing high-quality sunscreen, staying out of the sun during peak UV intensity hours, and wearing protective clothing will also be important in the months after getting BOTOX® injections, because sun damage is one of the primary causes of premature aging. Yes, that big shining ball in the sky works with your own body to make you look older. With so many factors seemingly conspiring to age you beyond your actual years, aren’t you glad we have BOTOX® for facial wrinkles?
Can You ‘Undo’ BOTOX® Injections?
Most people are satisfied with results from their BOTOX® treatment, but if, by chance, you’re not fully happy with your outcome and are frantically jabbing the words “How to get rid of BOTOX® faster?” into your browser, remember that the effects do gradually diminish on their own within a few months. Yes, your muscle activity will fully return—which is good news for some, and a disappointment to others.
Unlike some fillers, it’s not possible to remove or dissolve BOTOX® once it’s injected. However, for patients who don’t want to just wait it out, the Iteld Plastic Surgery team can work with you to make adjustments that can help you better achieve the look you want.
Which Cosmetic Treatments Complement BOTOX® Injections?
The other botulinum toxin type A injections—Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau™—are better suited for some patients. They all work in a similar manner to BOTOX®, but there are some differences in how they are formulated, and each has its own strengths. Dysport® diffuses a bit more easily, making it more suitable for larger areas, and has a faster onset compared to BOTOX®. Patients who have developed a resistance to the other neurotoxins might find that Xeomin® works better for them, as it doesn’t contain additives or accessory proteins.
Relaxing facial muscles with BOTOX® does wonders for dynamic wrinkles, but not static wrinkles. These types of wrinkles occur due to the natural, age-related depletion of collagen, elastin, fat, and moisture from the skin. Skin damage from smoking, sun exposure, and other environmental aggressors or lifestyle habits also causes the depletion or breakdown of collagen. No muscle activity is required for static wrinkles to form, which is why they require their own solution.
Any of a number of dermal fillers available at Iteld Plastic Surgery may work in this case, with options that include Juvederm®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, and more. These fillers work differently from BOTOX®, as they are intended for volumizing the face and restoring the structure of the skin. Instead of reducing muscle contractions, the soft filler gels reduce the depth of wrinkles by thickening and filling out the skin itself. Some fillers, like Sculptra®, also stimulate collagen production in the skin. All of them can be used in combination with BOTOX® injections.
* Results will vary from patient to patient. No guarantees about an individual’s result can or should be made based on information provided here.