Injectables are anti-aging treatments made from a safe form of botulinum toxin, which are injected into the face to reduce the appearance of certain facial wrinkles. Botox® is the most well-known brand of cosmetic botulinum toxin with millions of treatments performed every year. Many happy patients continue to seek out these treatments long term.
Botulinum toxin injections (also known as neurotoxins) have been used for decades to treat various issues including eye spasms, excessive sweating, and migraines, but these products are now mostly used for cosmetic purposes. Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® are all brands of botulinum toxin we offer patients at our Atlanta, Georgia facility to help smooth wrinkles on a temporary basis. All of these products treat “dynamic” wrinkles, in other words the furrows and lines caused by normal, repetitive facial movements such as laughing, smiling, frowning, or furrowing the brow. Over time, these movements cause permanent wrinkles that remain even when the face is at rest.
Injectables work by partially limiting the movement of specific facial muscles to ease these wrinkles, sometimes eliminating them entirely. The treatment is minimally invasive and brief, requiring only a simple injection session, and the results last for about 3-4 months on average.
The most common areas to be treated with injectables are the “elevens” or frown lines between the eyebrows, the laugh lines or “crows’ feet” at the corners of the eyes, and the horizontal furrows that form on the forehead.
Whether you’re interested in injectables for a special event or you’re planning to start a long-term plan of reoccurring treatments, you will need to meet with the aesthetic team at the Emory Aesthetic Center. Our experts will walk you through how the treatment works, what to expect, and discuss your goals for treatment with you. You will also get the opportunity to ask specific questions and voice any concerns you may have. While most people are eligible for injectable treatments, you will also have your candidacy for the procedure assessed.
Injectables are an ideal anti-aging solution for a wide variety of people, but not everyone is a candidate for the procedure. The basic requirements are simple: patients must be healthy adults who wish to temporarily improve the appearance of facial wrinkles. While Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® are powerful treatments that can provide significant improvement in facial wrinkles, patients also need to be realistic about the limitations of the products and realize that another treatment may be more appropriate for some people. Some health problems may also disqualify prospective patients from receiving injectable treatments, including weak facial muscles, high blood pressure, infection, facial skin disorders, and heart disease. Only a cosmetic surgeon can determine individual candidacy.
The injection process for botulinum toxin treatments is quick and fairly straightforward. After the treatment plan has been discussed, the surgeon may numb treatment areas with a topical anesthetic to make the process more comfortable for the patient. After this, the surgeon will carefully inject the product, taking care to preserve a natural appearance and allow normal facial movements. Each treatment typically lasts only 10 to 20 minutes with our expert cosmetic surgeons, and discomfort should be minimal.
Injectables involve minimal discomfort and absolutely no downtime following the treatment. As with any vaccination or needle treatment, the injection site may become slightly sore, red, swollen, or bruised, but these side effects are temporary and subside within a few days. Many people even undergo treatment on their lunch break, then return to work immediately afterward.
Because of the way botulinum toxin works to ease facial wrinkles, some patience is required to see the results, with the effect usually appearing within 2-7 days after treatment.
What is the difference between Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®?
All three products are made from botulinum toxin, and all produce very similar wrinkle-fighting results. Botox® is by far the oldest, most popular, and most recognizable formula, dating back to the late 1970s when it was first used to treat eye spasms. However, Dysport® and Xeomin® are comparable products, and some doctors believe these formulas work even faster than Botox®. Personal preference is the main factor in which product to use. Additionally, Dysport® and Xeomin® may work for patients who have stopped seeing results from Botox®.
Are injectables FDA approved?
Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® are all FDA approved for cosmetic purposes, though that approval is specific to certain areas of the face. Until recently, for example, Botox® was not officially endorsed by the FDA for treating “crows’ feet”, and extensive trials had to be conducted before the product’s approval was updated.
What are the risks of injectables?
Injectable treatments are very safe, and there are few side effects associated with their use. Aside from the normal side effects at the injection site, rarer complications can include:
• Droopy eyelids
• Double or blurred vision
• Dry eyes
• Allergic reaction
• Eye problems
• Neck pain
Any signs of rare side effects should be reported to your cosmetic surgeon immediately.
Who can perform cosmetic injectable treatments?
The use of injectables, neuromodulators , fillers or fat, have become quite sophisticated over the years. It is important that the injector, whether a nurse or physician, be properly trained and have a lot of experience. Many practitioners of all kinds have entered the injectable market. Be very certain that you are a wise consumer. Melissa Gorz RN, in my practice, has decades of injection experience. She devotes her professional time almost exclusively to aesthetic injections. Staying up to date with the vast numbers of injection products and techniques requires someone dedicated to these treatments. The casual injector can never be as good and safe as one specializing in this type of care.
How long does it take for Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® to start working?
Because it takes a few days for the product to start affecting the facial muscles, results will not become apparent right away. Patients can expect to start seeing improvement within 48 hours and full results a few days after that, depending on the product used and the severity of the facial wrinkles.
Will I look natural after treatment?
Many people are concerned that because injectables affect the movement of the facial muscles, they will not be able to form facial expressions normally, and the results will look unnatural. This is an exaggerated perception of how much the treatment will affect the muscles. Botox®, Xeomin®, and Dysport® offer natural-looking facial rejuvenation when administered by a qualified provider.
What is a “unit” of an injectable product?
A unit isn’t a typical measurement: it’s a measure of biological activity and number of molecules. Botulinum toxin treatments generally come in 100 unit bottles, and your plastic surgeon will be able to determine how many units you will need in each area to be treated. This amount can be adjusted in future treatments if necessary.
Do men get injectable treatments?
Yes! More and more men are recognizing the benefits of looking more youthful and rested in both professional and personal contexts. Cosmetic treatments for men are on the rise as stigma and suspicion start to fall away. Injectable treatments for men and women work in exactly the same way.
What is the right age to start injectable treatments?
There is no certain age at which you should start injectable treatments, as everyone ages at a different rate, and in different areas of the face. With that said, the average age that people start becoming bothered by dynamic wrinkles is usually during the mid-to-late thirties or early forties. There is no upper age limit on botulinum toxin injections, and many people continue to undergo treatments for years with no ill effects.