Relax Wrinkles & Refresh Your Appearance at Our Toronto-Area Practice
As we age, the reduced production of building blocks such as collagen and elastin result in the natural moisture and elasticity of our skin decreasing over time. Our skin becomes less and less accustomed to keeping pace after the facial muscles underneath it relax after an eyebrow raise or furrow, leading to a tired, aged, or angry appearance. Physician injectors skilfully apply Dysport® and BOTOX® Cosmetic at our Toronto, ON area practice in North York to reduce wrinkle-causing muscular activity while still maintaining natural facial expressiveness.
Because of the relatively quick treatment times for BOTOX® and Dysport®, they have come to have a reputation as “lunchtime procedures” and are used by both men and women alike to maintain a youthful, fresh-faced appearance. Following a treatment session, most patients are able to return to their usual daily activities without any downtime.
What are BOTOX® & Dysport®?
BOTOX® is the brand name of injectable botulinum toxin produced by pharmaceutical company Allergan. Likewise, Dysport® is the brand of the same toxin by Galderma. Botulinum toxin is a purified protein derived from the anaerobic Clostridium botulinum bacterium.
The History of BOTOX® Cosmetic
Today, botulinum toxins are used to treat a host of medical conditions related to neuromuscular activities, such as hyperhidrosis (i.e. excessive sweating), blepharospasms (eyelid spams), and chronic migraines, but it is far more well-known as a cosmetic injectable that has been used for nearly two decades as a treatment for wrinkles and other facial muscle-related concerns.
In the 19th century, a German medical officer first discovered that the neurotoxic or neuromodulating protein (i.e. one that blocks signals from nerves to their associated muscles) could be used medicinally to stop unwanted muscular spasms.
In the years that followed, scientists began to uncover several more uses for BOTOX®. Richard Clark, a plastic surgeon in California, became the first to document a cosmetic use for the toxin. A patient of his had experienced forehead asymmetry due to nerve paralysis that occurred during her facelift procedure. The paralysis resulted in the patient’s forehead lines on the left side to relax, leaving the right side still wrinkled. Clark used botulinum toxin on the right side to smooth it and match the left, and obtained FDA approval for this indication.
Canadian ophthalmologists Alistair and Jean Carruthers, who commonly used botulinum toxins to treat eyelid spasms, began to notice that patients who received BOTOX® injections around their eyes and at their forehead looked more refreshed and had diminished frown lines between the brows and sides of the eyes.
How Do Botulinum Toxins Like BOTOX® Work?
Beginning in our 30s (or sometimes even 20s), certain muscles in the face cause overlying skin to bunch together and form “dynamic” wrinkles. For example, the frown lines between the eyebrows (often referred to as the 11s or glabellar lines) occur due to the contraction of small muscles beneath the inner part of each eyebrow.
Injecting BOTOX® Cosmetic into these muscles will weaken them, causing improvement or disappearance of the frown lines. The mechanism of action of BOTOX® is similar in other dynamic skin concerns of the face. The effects appear in three to four days and usually last between three to six months, but can be shorter or longer depending on individual biology. Accordingly, most patients repeat the treatments every few months in order to maintain their results.
The treatment not only reduces the appearance of existing lines, but also helps slow the further development of lines between the brows. Most commonly used to treat the frown lines between the eyebrows, BOTOX® Cosmetic is also used to minimize the appearance of horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet lines around the eyes.
While BOTOX® is FDA-approved to treat the above types of dynamic wrinkles, it is also very often used to treat other muscle-related cosmetic concerns in the face, such as:
- Platysmal neck bands (i.e. cords on the throat that become more prominent over time and with skin laxity)
- Bunny lines that occur from wrinkling the nose
- Gummy smiles that show too much of the gums above the teeth
- Vertical lines around the mouth (sometimes known as smoker’s lines)
- Dimples on the chin
- Marionette lines and a downturned mouth
- Eyebrows that become flattened with time
Are BOTOX® Cosmetic & Dysport® Safe?
Yes, BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® have been tested and observed over several clinical trials over the years and have received approval by both the FDA and Health Canada. Our doctors are appropriately certified and experienced in using both BOTOX® and Dysport® safely and effectively to address cosmetic concerns.
What Are the Side Effects of a BOTOX® Cosmetic or Dysport® Treatment?
BOTOX® and Dysport® treatments typically involve minimal discomfort, and the injection itself feels like a small pinch.
Side effects from BOTOX® and Dysport® tend to be mild to moderate, and usually resolve within a week after the treatment session. The most common side effects include:
- Tenderness at the injection site
- Redness or bruising at injection site
- Ptosis or slight sagging of the eyelid or eyebrow
BOTOX® and Dysport® treatments may not be suitable for patients who are pregnant or suffering from certain neuromuscular disorders. You may be asked by your provider about your medications, allergies, and other cosmetic treatments or procedures, and are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns during your consultation prior to treatment.
Complementary Cosmetic Treatments to BOTOX® and Dysport®
It is important to understand that botulinum toxins can only treat cosmetic concerns caused by muscular activity. While BOTOX® and Dysport® are very effective in treating dynamic wrinkles, they are not suitable treatments for static wrinkles, dynamic wrinkles that have become static and deep-set over time (such as vertical lip lines), or lax skin.
The dwindling production of fundamental building blocks of the skin, such as hyaluronic acid (providing moisture and volume), collagen (providing structural integrity), and elastin (providing elasticity) lead to the skin losing its plumpness and tightness, leading to sagging and the development of static wrinkles and folds (such as parenthesis lines, deflated cheeks, and thinning lips).
For such concerns, dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid, such as the Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Teosyal® lines, work very effectively, as they add back volume to areas of the face that have lost it. Dermal fillers may also be used to reshape or augment areas of the face (such as the nasal bridge or lips) to achieve improved facial proportions.
Other injectable treatments at North York Dermatology Clinic include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for hair restoration and skin rejuvenation, and Belkyra® for fat reduction in the neck and chin area.