Botox: Why It’s So Popular And Who Might Want It

Botox: Why It's So Popular and Who Might Want It

While we may gain wisdom with every year that passes, many of us would prefer to avoid some of the other “gifts” that come with age. The frown lines. The crow’s feet. The forehead creases.

Botox has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world for women and men seeking to diminish the appearance of these natural formations.

In fact, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that Botox use increased by 819 percent between 2000 and 2017. And this upward trend in minimally invasive procedures shows no sign of stopping.

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin therapy, or Botox, is derived from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, found in soil, forests, and lakes. When used in a professional setting as a cosmetic injection, only a minimal dose of the toxin is used, making it very safe (and, of course, FDA approved).

This neurotoxin injectable paralyzes the muscles underneath your skin. As an injectable neuromodulator, it relaxes nerve-muscle imbalance, so the muscles stop moving, reducing existing wrinkles and preventing future ones.

The Mechanics of the Face

When you frown, squint, smile, or raise your eyebrows, your nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the spot where your muscle cells meet your nerve endings. The acetylcholine then attaches to the muscle cells, causing them to contract. Botox prevents this release of acetylcholine, which stops the muscle from contracting.

So, those deep grooves that years of frowns, squints, and smiles leave behind? The damage caused by free radicals from the sun and the environment? Botox targets those dynamic wrinkles, temporarily diminishing them and rejuvenating your appearance.

The Benefits of Botox

Cosmetic Botox injections work beneath the surface of the skin, temporarily making fine lines look visibly smoother. Specific benefits include:

  • Relaxed scowl lines between your eyebrows
  • Diminished horizontal wrinkles on the forehead
  • Lifted mouth corners, which can turn down with age
  • Softened smoker’s lines around the mouth
  • Reduced crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes) 
  • Softened vertical neck cords

While Botox is most often used for appearances, it’s also FDA-approved for medical use. It can be used to conditions that affect the neuromuscular system, including:

  • Hyperhidrosis, an excessive sweating condition
  • Crossed eyes or strabismus
  • Migraine prevention
  • Blepharospasm or eyelid spasms
  • Overactive bladder
  • Cervical dystonia, a neurological movement disorder

There are also increasing off-label uses, such as treating facial redness, psoriasis, alopecia, and the effects of diseases like Raynaud’s disease and Hailey-Hailey disease. 

The Best Candidates for Botox (and What to Expect When You Get it)

The severity of your lines will dictate if the treatment is right for you — not your age. In fact, 64% of plastic surgeons report seeing a rise in cosmetic surgery or injectable treatments for women and men in their early 30s. If you’re experiencing any of the medical conditions previously mentioned, your doctor can help determine if Botox is the right treatment option for you.

Botox injections are a longer-lasting cosmetic solution than creams, serums, and make-up, but they’re not a permanent solution. You’ll start to see results 24 to 48 hours after treatment, with full results reached by 30 days. And while everyone is different, the effects generally last 3 to 5 months. Once they wear off, you’ll be able to contract these muscles again, and the wrinkles will start to reappear. 

The Dos and Don’ts When Getting Botox

Do your research and schedule your Botox consultation and treatment with a qualified, experienced professional. On the day of your appointment, you should avoid the following:

  • Blood-thinning medications (e.g., aspirin and ibuprofen)
  • Fish oil supplements and multivitamins
  • Alcohol

Following your appointment, you can carry on with your routine with some slight modifications. Avoid the following for at least four hours:

  • Make-up
  • Touching or massaging the area
  • Facials
  • Lying down
  • Putting your head down (avoid shoe shopping or bending)
  • Headwear that fits tightly on the forehead

You’ll also need to avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after your treatment.

Windsor Dermatology is Your Source for Botox

As a cosmetic dermatology clinic, Windsor Dermatology specializes in minimally invasive procedures like Botox to rejuvenate your appearance. To learn more about how Botox injections can help you, call 609-443-4500 to set up a consultation.

What is Hyperhidrosis & how is it treated?

what is hyperhydrosis sweating hands

What is Hyperhidrosis & how is it treated?

what is hyperhydrosis sweating hands

What is hyperhidrosis?

The main purpose of sweating is the regulation of body temperature. Sweat transfers heat from within the body outwards through the skin, released through evaporation into the air. Hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive sweat production that exceeds the body’s thermoregulatory needs. This condition affects 4.8% of the U.S. population and it is widely under-treated, often because of lack of awareness.

Hyperhidrosis is classified into two types: primary and secondary. Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by an inciting medical or physiological condition. Causes can include

  • Cancer
  • Infections (TB, malaria, HIV)
  • Endocrine or metabolic disorders (hyperthyroidism, adrenal dysfunction)
  • Medications

In secondary hyperhidrosis, sweating is widespread. It occurs during sleep and tends to have onset at age 25 and up.

Secondary hyperhidrosis accounts for only a small fraction of cases of hyperhidrosis. 93% of cases are classified as primary hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis is not caused by an underlying health issue, but rather by excessive neurological stimulation of sweat glands. It typically begins in patients age 14-23 and is often limited to specific body sites such as the axillae, palms, soles and sometimes craniofacial areas. It can be either intermittent or continuous and occurs only when patients are awake.

Although the vast majority of cases of hyperhidrosis are considered primary, this is considered a diagnosis of exclusion and should only be made after secondary hyperhidrosis has been excluded. This can usually be done by discussing the patient’s specific circumstances, and usually doesn’t required any lab tests.

Hyperhidrosis Affecting Your Daily Life

Hyperhidrosis can affect daily activities, social interactions and work function. It can cause embarrassment, low self-esteem, and interfere with social and intimate relationships. In one study, 32% of affected people described it as unbearable and causing constant disruption to their life. 63% of people with hyperhidrosis feel unhappy or depressed.

Treatment Options

There are a variety of treatment strategies for hyperhidrosis:

  • Topical agents
  • Oral medication
  • Botox
  • Iontophoresis
  • Microwave ablation
  • Surgery

Topical Agents

The first topical agent is Aluminum chloride hexahydrate, sold under the trade name Drysol. This treatment blocks sweat gland openings and is applied either once daily or once every other day. The biggest advantage is that it’s inexpensive, but the disadvantage is that it can cause skin irritation.

Another useful topical medication is glycopyrronium cloths, sold under the trade name QBREXZA. The cloths contain a medication that blocks communication between nerves and sweat glands. Although this treatment lacks the irritation that may accompany aluminum chloride, it is very expensive and poor coverage by insurance plans.

Here we see the difference in how antiperspirants function versus how qbrexza functions.

Oral Medication

Oral medications can be used for hyperhidrosis. They block signaling between sweat glands and the nerves that control them. This is similar to the mechanism of qbrexza, except these medications work everywhere, not just on a limited application area. The most commonly used oral medication for hyperhidrosis is glycopyrrolate. Oral treatment is a good option for people with multiple affected areas. The downside is that sometimes they can have side effects such as dry mouth or nausea.

Botox

Botox is a great option for treating hyperhidrosis. It’s highly effective, usually covered by insurance, and each treatment lasts from 4mo to as long as 1yr, depending on the patient.

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is a treatment that uses electric current to occlude sweat glands. It’s mostly used for hyperhidrosis of the hands. The hands are placed in trays of water and a current is applied using an external device. Treatments are performed every other day for 3 weeks, then once weekly for maintenance. The advantage of this is that it is drug free and can be self-administered at home. The disadvantage is that each treatment takes 20 minutes and the device must be purchased by the patient at an out of pocket cost of usually $700.

Microwave Ablation

This photo shows the use of a medical device called MiraDry. MiraDry uses microwaves to permanently destroy axillary sweat glands. The advantage of this treatment is that it’s permanent. The disadvantage is that it is uncomfortable, takes about an hour, and is costly. A typical cost might be $2500 for one session, with possible need for a second session.

Surgical Options

There are surgical options as well, including liposuction and neurosurgery. Neurosurgery is mostly used for hyperhidrosis of the hands. The advantage is that the result is permanent. The disadvantage is that after surgery about 20% of people develop what’s known as compensatory hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating of other parts of the body.

If you are interested in learning more about hyperhidrosis, visit the website of the International Hyperhidrosis Society www.SweatHelp.org. For a personalized consultation about individual symptoms and treatment options, contact Windsor Dermatology today.