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Introduction to BOTOX

Hi, I’m Dr. Greg Ratliff and I’m here to give you kind of an introduction to BOTOX. If you have had BOTOX elsewhere, you probably have already experienced basically it’s a bunch of little needle sticks. If you haven’t, then let’s talk a little bit about the basics of how BOTOX works and what you need to know.

BOTOX, at its heart, is a muscle paralyzer. It paralyzes by blocking the junction between the nerve and muscle so the muscle can’t contract. Why is that helpful? Well, these lines right here in the middle of your forehead and these lines come from a sheet muscle that’s underneath the skin that pulls things together. Well, if you can segmentally paralyze parts of that so it doesn’t pull right under those folds, those folds will gradually soften and remodel.

BOTOX wears off. Unfortunately, it is temporary. It lasts somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. If it wears off too fast, do it more, because the reality is, if you let it wear off and then you hit it again, you’ve let the muscle recover and now it’s as strong as it was and you’re having to paralyze it again. But if you come back as soon as you see it starting to twitch, we can hit it again and gradually it weakens and weakens and weakens, and it lasts longer and longer and longer. So, the key with BOTOX longevity is to do it more frequently at the beginning and that will get you spread out much longer as you continue using the product. So that is kind of BOTOX.

Let’s talk a little bit -- I hate to talk about complications, but there is no way to do this kind of stuff without having an occasional problem. The most common problem with BOTOX is a muscle getting weaker than you want it to. The most common one, right here on the eyebrow. You treat these lines up here, well the muscle that lifts your eyebrow is what we are targeting to paralyze, and so it gets weaker and your eyebrow will droop a little bit. If that happens, chill. It goes away. The beauty of BOTOX is that it will wear off. So, if you don’t like the effect and you don’t like what it does. All you have to do it wait. And it’s frustrating, but that’s how it works. You just wait for it to wear off.

A little bit harder to deal with problem is when BOTOX gets into the eyelid, trickles down from up here and it will paralyze the muscle that holds your eyelid open. OK, so now you kind of look like Pete the Pirate because it is down one side. There is a treatment for that. What holds your eyelid open is actually two different muscles, one of which is under voluntary control, it’s a skeletal muscle and that’s what BOTOX works on, the other one is under control of what is called the sympathetic nervous system, that runs your heart, your breathing. You can’t control it. You can’t change it. But, there are eyedrops that will stimulate that muscle and cause it to contract. And so, you may be using those eyedrops for somewhere around four to six months until the BOTOX wears off and then your eye works perfectly normally again. Marissa has had, in the 10 years that I’ve been working with her and she’s been doing BOTOX, she has had exactly two people with an eyelid drop. I had one with an eyelid drop before I turned BOTOX over to Marissa. I’ve been in practice 30 years. BOTOX hasn’t been around that long. BOTOX has been around probably 15 years. So, as you can tell, that’s a very uncommon complication, but there is a treatment for it, so don’t worry about it happening to you, but if it does, know that there are things that we can do.

That’s kind of the summary of BOTOX and how it works and the biggest potential problems with it. It really changes things in terms of what it can do for your face and how you look, without major intervention like surgery or something else.

So, it works. Give it a whirl. And if you have problems, we’re here for you. Thanks.