What is it?
Botox® is a purified protein toxin produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. It is used to reduce wrinkles and creases worn into the skin, such as frown lines and brow furrows. By reducing the ability of certain facial muscles to contract we can improve wrinkles.
What happens in a Botox® treatment?
A few drops of Botox® are injected with a small needle into the muscle that creates the wrinkle. The Botox® injection blocks the nerve impulses from that area, weakening the muscle. As the muscle weakens, the skin over the muscle relaxes and the wrinkles in the skin soften, often disappearing.
The most common use for Botox® is on the frown lines between the eyebrows, the horizontal lines that appear on the forehead, and crows' feet. Some other areas benefit from Botox® treatment as well – ask your doctor about Botox® for excessive sweating and body odor.
How long will Botox® treatment last?
The effects of a Botox® injection will usually last three to five months, after which time another injection will be required. After several treatments, the effects may last longer, sometimes from six to eight months.
Is it safe?
Botox® has been used safely and effectively in ophthalmology for more than 10 years, and for more than 15 years cosmetic surgeons have been using it for wrinkle therapy. With such small amounts used in wrinkle treatment, the only possible side effects are temporary and confined to the area of injection. A small percentage of patients who receive Botox® treatments may experience headache that lasts for several days.
Botox® does not affect the nerve, leaving muscles related to other expressions unaffected.
There are very few restrictions regarding Botox® treatments; however those with a neurological condition or pregnant women should not use it. You should consult your doctor to make sure that you are a good candidate.
Note: None of the above is intended as medical advice.