Botox and Collagen Treatments

How do Botox and Collagen work?
While they both can be used to diminish facial wrinkles, the generality ends there. These treatments work in very different ways. Botox would be used more frequently if not exclusively in the upper face and Collagen is used almost exclusively in the lower face and lips. Selection of what to use and in which combinations and dosages is determined at the time of your personal consultation. Thereafter, we continually re-evaluate your progress and satisfaction on follow up visits and individualize your treatments accordingly. Treatment time is about 30 minutes.

Botox is particularly good for three areas in the upper face: Frown Lines of the Glabella, Crows Feet of the eyes and Wrinkles of the Forehead. Botox is a bio-protein derived from micro-organisms; it has been used for years in Medicine for various non-cosmetic uses. Botox is specially prepared for cosmetic applications in that it is diluted so that it can be used to relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles and some {unwanted}facial expressions with minimal, if any side effects.

Collagen is a protein that is used to fill in the skin at either a superficial level, or a slightly deeper level. Most areas of the face may be treated, with a few exceptions. The most common are the lips and the nasal labial folds. As a dermal filler, Collagen acts like a natural protein by providing a smooth expansion in the selected areas under the skin to produce the desired effect; it can be transitioned fairly accurately using very fine injections. Collagen lasts about 3 to 4 months. The bovine collagen (that is, it comes from cows) requires a skin test. We place a superficial skin test much like the tuberculosis skin test that some people are familiar with; we then wait about 6 weeks to check for a reaction; about 2-3% of the general population will show a positive reaction. If the skin test is negative, we can proceed with either type of Collagen. If it is positive, and we decide to proceed with a Collagen, we’d use the “new” collagen, which, according to the manufacturer {Inamed} is not associated with allergic reactions.


What is Botox®, and how is it used for cosmetic medicine?
Botox® is a purified protein that comes from a micro-organism. This "bio-protein" is used in very small amounts to block nerve to muscle impulses. Using Botox® we can decrease the upper facial muscle contractions that are responsible for your frown lines or lines of expression. A cold pack is first applied to the area to be treated, then the Botox® is injected. The tiny pinprick sensation with each injection is minimized by the cooling and injection technique used at most clinics.

How many treatments of Botox® will I need?
Depending on your cosmetic goals, treatments can usually be done in several areas in one visit, for example the forehead and crows feet. However, a series of treatments will be necessary to complete the protocol. After the early treatments the muscles overcome, to an extent, the acute effect of Botox® but less so, progressively, with subsequent treatments. The underlying anatomic effect is a defined and lasting decrease of muscle tone in the treated areas; this results in the desired cosmetic effect of smooth, unwrinkled skin. For most of us, this occurs after a series of treatments over about a year's time. As with anything in biology, however, results vary with the individual.

Is there any preparation for Botox®?
The effect of Botox® is noticed several days after injection, and lasts for several weeks to months. Brusing, and much less frequently, mild inflammation or infection may ensue, but these are self-limiting. Occasionally, a slight eyelid drooping may occur. Again, this is self-limiting after several days


What is Collagen Treatment?
Cosmetic 'Collagen' is a skin protein derived and purified from bovine (cow) tissue. Cosmetic Collagen is injected just beneath the skin's surface, where the body commonly accepts it as it's own. Treatment with collagen produces an immediately visible difference in the appearance of the skin. The skin's natural collagen support layer is therefore bolstered and this results in the smoothing of facial lines and some types of scars. Collagen treatment can also be used to enhance the appearance of the lips and lip borders. 

Who is a Candidate for Collagen? How do I get started?
With a personal, complimentary consultation and medical history interview, we discuss your expectations and the extent to which The Clinic can assist. Together we determine a reasonable perspective or goal that we would set. If we are using bovine collagen, a skin test is required prior to treatment; this is a tiny injection under the skin of the forearm. The test patch area is evaluated after seveal weeks. Should the patch become reactive, bovine collagen is not a possibility, but you would be a candidate the new Collagen, 'Cosmoplast' [or 'Cosmoderm'].

What About Treatments?
The first application, in particular, should be considered as 'building a base'. While results are seen immediately, it does take several treatments with collagen to attain the full effect. Cosmetic goals for collagen include: smoothing of facial lines, wrinkles and scars, as well as the enhancement of the lips and lip-borders. The results of treatment can be appreciated for several months. Over time, injectable collagen breaks down (as does our own, naturally-occuring collagen), and subsequent treatments may be recommended. Without further applications, the injected collagen would be reabsorbed by over time.

What is Recovery like?
While healing time varies, most people return to work the very same day.