The mysteries of Botox explained by Reinier Van Coevorden, M.D. Life is about loving every precious moment and continually celebrating your journey through the ages. Many people think it’s a lot more fun when you can celebrate life’s accomplishments while still looking youthful and rejuvenated, untouched by the hands of time. Recently, many advances in anti-aging treatments have turned 50 into the new 30, and age is literally nothing more than a number. Looking as young as you feel is very real in this new age of technology. RVC Medical offers a wide range of anti-aging and wrinkle reduction treatments like Botox, Juvederm, and Radiesse. While not the same as a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Van Coevorden, here’s a full run-down of Botox Cosmetic to help answer some of the questions that might be floating around in your head about Botox treatments. When you are ready, give us a call at 425-557-4227 and schedule your free consultation with Dr. Van Coevorden. Will Botox leave me looking frozen and expressionless? In this day and age, Botox is known for achieving natural looking results, and is an extremely effective anti-aging treatment. But with great power comes great responsibility. An experienced doctor uses “Micro Doses” of Botox that brings natural youth and balance back to your face. It’s been proven that over-expressive areas of the face can lead to early wrinkles, in the forehead, frown lines, chin, and crows feet. In the hands of an experienced professional like Dr. Van Coevorden, Botox is administered carefully and accurately in order to achieve natural youthful results. What is Botox? Over the years, the word ‘Botox’ has been synonymous with ‘scary’ due to a few extreme use cases that have been over-popularized. The truth is, there are many cases of wonderful Botox success stories that hardly get noticed. Part of Botox’s negative connotation is that it is a neurotoxin that paralyzes muscles, but over the last 30 years it has been proven to be the perfect anti-aging friend. Botox is the most popular of 4 major brands of reliable US-made neurotoxins. The others include Myobloc by Solstice Neuroscience, Dysport by Ipsen Ltd., and Xeomin by Merz. They all work to relax muscles around the targeted area and have been declared safe for use by the FDA and European counterparts. Aside from the popular US brands, there are Chinese and Korean variants flooding the market lately. These brands can give the same results, but their manufacturing process is not regulated like it is for Botox and the others in the USA. Because of this, you can never be too sure as to how the proteins were purified. The side effects of the off-brands can be unpredictable, so we do not recommend using any products that were not manufactured in the USA. Also, it’s important to remember that Botox is not a filler like Juvederm or Radiesse. Botox relaxes muscles, and cannot plump up volume like fillers do. What is treatment like? Botox treatment is very simple, and goes something like this: Dr. Van Coevorden will consult with you and ask you to animate your face in different expressions. This would include smiling, frowning, scrunching, whistling, all sorts of faces. After a complete assessment of your treatment goals and musculoskeleture of your facial areas, Dr. Van Coevorden will discuss with you the crucial areas of treatment, and will work with you to draw up a completely customized treatment plan. Once the treatment plan has been decided, Dr. Van Coevorden will clean the treatment area and apply a topical numbing cream to the area. A tiny needle, smaller than most, is used to inject the proper dosage into the underlying muscles of the treatment area. Total procedure takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Is treatment painful? With the use of numbing cream, most patients tolerate the micro needle pricks very easily. When delivered into the skin, Botox can create a slight burning and pressure sensation. Most describe it to be uncomfortable, but not painful. With regular treatments, the numbing cream may or may not be needed, some patients are so used to the injections that they do not require numbing cream. What are the common side effects? In expert hands, the side effects of Botox treatment are minimal. Immediately following treatment, injection sites look like tiny mosquito bites which disappear naturally within 20-30 minutes. Like any injectable, there is a slight risk of bruising, which if it happens, usually clears up within 4-5 days. To minimize bruising, it’s best to avoid all types of blood-thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen, Vitamin E, Fish Oil supplements, grean tea, ginger, etc. before any Botox treatment. If applied improperly to the wrong anatomical zones, Botox can cause lid lag or drooping eyelid. This can also result in eyebrow drop and sometimes facial asymmetry. Botox should only be administered by an expert healthcare professional with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy. How long does Botox treatment last? This is quite a popular question, and the answer varies patient to patient. In general, the Botox protein remains between the nerve endings and muscle tissue for 3-5 months. Some people are fast-metabolizers, and will start to see muscle movement returning in about 3 months. Slow metabolizers will see movement returning in about 5 months. Generally, those who regularly receive Botox treatments tend to see the results last longer. What is autoimmune resistance to Botox? Very rarely (about 1 in 10,000 cases), patients develop an autoimmune response to botox. Your body essentially forms an antibody response to the Botox protein rendering it ineffective. If you do have a resistance to Botox, there are other forms of Botulinum toxin that can be used. Other failures of Botox can result from improper injection technique or storage. Botox, if previously opened, stored improperly or mixed incorrectly can cause the fragile Botox protein to break down and lose it’s effectiveness. Also, an inadequate dosage can result in treatment failure. These failures can be avoided by a properly trained Botox professional. How much does Botox treatment cost? Every patient is different, and no two treatment plans are the same. However, the price of Botox usually ranges between $10-$16 per unit. The number of units required for each treatment plan varies, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Botox treatment. The number of areas requiring treatment affects the overall cost of Botox. Like we say, there are no two patients who are exactly alike. Dr. Van Coevorden will work with you to develop your own personal treatment plan that works for you and fits your budget. Also, a treatment performed by a trained Botox expert experienced in Aesthetic and Cosmetic procedures will cost more than a procedure performed by a novice. With treatments like Botox, it is important that you develop a trusting relationship with your provider. Dr. Reinier Van Coevorden has over 20 years of experience dedicated to helping patients achieve their personal goals. Can’t I just get Botox at my Beauty Salon? NO! Botox is a powerful prescription drug that should only be administered by a health care professional. Doctors who specialize in Aesthetic Medicine have the most experience and provide the best results. How young is too young for Botox? This question comes up very often, but was recently posed at the Antiaging World Congress in Monte Carlo. The consensus was definitely not in teenagers or children unless there is a demonstrated medical need. While there is no ‘ideal’ age for starting Botox treatment, people as young as their late 20’s are using Botox for preventative goals. Young people use botox to prevent wrinkles as they age. As you get older, your priorities shift from prevention to wrinkle management and anti-aging treatments. What else is Botox used for? In addition to it’s anti-aging benefits, more and more treatments have been emerging, and now there are more than 27 approved uses by health regulators in 88 countries. Botox is used in ophthalmology, urology, neurology and dermatology. It works for treatments like migraines, lock-jaw treatments and even excessive sweating in arm pits, hands and feet. New off-label uses are being discovered and reported more and more frequently, and the medical future of Botox is very promising as advancements in science and technology continue. How can I find out more information? RVC Medical provides free one-on-one anti-aging consultations, and Dr. Van Coevorden will assess your individual goals and recommend a treatment plan that is personalized for you. Call us today at 425-557-4227 to schedule your personal consultation today and get started on your anti-aging treatments today!