Botox Injections – Benefits, Cost & Side Effects

    Botox

How Botox Works

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Unlike soft tissue fillers (such as Juvederm that add volume to skin depressions), Botox blocks the release of a chemical called acetylcholine which triggers the muscle contractions that create wrinkles.

Botox essentially paralyzes the muscles and stops them from contracting. Results are visible within one week after treatment and remain for a minimum of three months.  


The Botox Procedure

Botox should only be injected with sterile instruments in a doctor's office or a medical spa — not at Botox parties at your local nail salon or neighbor's living room.  You may feel some minimal discomfort from the shot, but today's needles are so thin and fine that the procedure is often painless.  Depending on the extent of treatment, the procedure can take anywhere from a few minutes to 20 minutes.

Selecting the correct injection points is critical to the success of the procedure.  Your doctor or trained aesthetician will likely select numerous injection points for each location to be treated. (These points are located where the muscle contracts — not necessarily at the wrinkle you are hoping to erase.) The Botox filler is then injected into the marked points beneath the skin.

You can resume normal activities immediately, but your doctor may advise you to stay out of the sun.

Botox Side Effects

The most common side effects of Botox include headache, nausea, flu-like symptoms and redness and pain at the injection site. Infrequently, patients experience muscle weakness or drooping of the upper eyelid muscles. This side effect usually resolves within days. In rare cases, however, upper eyelid drooping may last for months.

The FDA now requires black box labeling on Botox and similar products such as Dysport and Xeomin to warn of rare but potentially life-threatening swallowing and breathing complications if the toxin spreads beyond the injection site. None of these complications have occurred in people using Botox for cosmetic reasons and the FDA states that cosmetic use of Botox appears to be safe.

 

Botox Cost

The cost for Botox depends on the number of areas treated and may range from $160 to $400 per treatment area.  It is common for the cost of Botox to be quoted by the price per unit.  Each treatment area usually takes between 12-30 units.  Med Spa at ACWH charges $11/unit.  Multiple areas may be treated at one time, and repeat treatments are needed every three to four months, on average. When it comes to Botox and other injectables, you get what you pay for. Buyers beware: bargain Botox may increase your risk of complications, including poor cosmetic results. If the cost is prohibitive, financing options are available via Care Credit.

 

Juvederm Injections – Benefits, Cost & Side Effects

Juvederm

Juvederm dermal filler was FDA-approved in June 2006 for the treatment of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds such as nasolabial folds (those lines that extend from your nose to the corners of your mouth).

What is Juvederm?

Juvederm is an injectable filler that includes hyaluronic acid, a natural complex sugar that bolsters skin elasticity, providing a smooth and supple appearance. It is biocompatible, supplementing the body's natural hyaluronic acid, which age has depleted.

Juvederm is the umbrella name for this family of products. Juvederm Ultra is the "regular" filler while Juvederm Ultra Plus is used to treat deeper facial folds; the effects of the latter may last longer. Treatment areas include the deep nasogenian grooves (the folds between your cheeks and nose) and nasolabial folds (the so-called "marionette lines" that form between the nose and outer corners of the mouth). Juvederm is also useful for enhancing lip volume (often in combination with lip lifts) and for reshaping cheek contours.

 

Other available hyaluronic acid-based treatments are BeloteroPerlane, and Restylane injections.


How Does Juvederm Work?

The transparent Juvederm gel is injected with a syringe into the mid to deep dermis of your face. The dermis is the subsurface skin layer that contains connective tissue, nerve endings, sweat and oil glands, and blood vessels.

Juvederm improves your appearance by lifting and adding volume to the wrinkles and folds in the treatment area. After six to nine months, the biocompatible compound is naturally absorbed into the body.

One advantage to Juvederm is its pliant gel consistency, which may provide a smoother, more natural-looking appearance than some of its more rigid predecessors. Another advantage is that Juvederm may last longer, maintaining the improved appearance for six to nine months. The benefits may last even longer if you have a follow-up treatment a few weeks after the first treatment. 

Juvederm Side Effects

Side effects with Juvederm are rare, but may include redness, tenderness, or pain at the injection site. If these occur, they usually subside within three days. Rarely, discoloration may occur, but this is reversible. Firmness, swelling, bumps and bruises are also rare side effects, and should subside within seven days.

Cost of Juvederm

Juvederm cost typically ranges between $450 and $800 per syringe, depending on the formula used and other factors.  In some cases a second syringe may be needed for a fully satisfactory outcome and is offered at a discounted price.

If the out-of-pocket cost is more than you can pay all at once, financing options are available through Care Credit.