Botulinum toxin (brand name BOTOX®) is extracted from the bacteria Clostridia botulinum. For years it has been used as a nonsurgical treatment for uncontrollable facial spasms and disorders of the eye. Now it’s used as a safe and effective way to reduce facial wrinkles without surgery.
BOTOX® is targeted directly at the facial muscles that are causing dynamic wrinkles to form. The BOTOX® protein injection blocks transmission from the nerve ending to the muscle. As a result, the muscle relaxes, significantly reducing the appearance of wrinkles and muscles on the skin above that muscle. This blocking effect on the nerves usually lasts an average of three to six months, at which time the muscle regains movement and wrinkles reappear.
A topical anesthetic cream may be applied to your skin prior to the procedure to decrease the sensation of the injection. Using a very fine needle, BOTOX® is injected directly into the targeted facial muscles. BOTOX® treatments only take a few minutes and are given during a typical office visit. You should be able to return to your normal activities immediately.
The effects of BOTOX®-induced muscle relaxation begin to occur within about three days. By the end of the first week, you will probably notice a significant reduction of fine lines and wrinkles around the treated areas.
How do you get Wrinkles?
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by muscle movement repeated over a period of years. Dynamic wrinkles are those associated with squinting, laughing and scrunching up the forehead during periods of worry or contemplation, etc. These are the type of wrinkles on which BOTOX® is effective.
Crepe-paper wrinkles are caused by sun expo sure and aging, which over years thins the stores the protein substance, collagen, located both within the deep layers of the skin and just beneath it. As these stores wane, the skin stretches and sags. Unfortunately, BOTOX® is not effective on crepe-paper wrinkles.
Are You a Good Candidate for BOTOX®?
The best candidates for BOTOX® treatments are people who are physically healthy, with no history of neuromuscular diseases (such as multiple sclerosis or myasthenia gravis), not pregnant or nursing and who are at least 18 years old.
People with the following conditions should avoid BOTOX® treatments:
• Existing weakness in the targeted muscles
• Ptosis (drooping eyelids)
• Deep facial scars
• Very thick facial skin
• Marked facial asymmetry
• Skin disorders around the planned injection sites
Are there risks associated with BOTOX® treatments?
Yes. BOTOX® is a toxin and can be potent in high concentration. However, only small, diluted amounts of BOTOX® are used in treatments to reduce facial wrinkles. The most common side effects are headache and temporary redness or bruising of the skin at the injection site. Occasionally, some people experience temporary eye irritation or tearing following treatments. More serious complications are rare but possible. Non-targeted muscles could be affected and weakened, inducing ptosis (drooping eyelid), though the effect is not permanent.
Is the procedure painful?
Most patients compare the sensation to a bug bite. Overall, the discomfort is minimal and temporary.
Will my facial expressions look unnatural?
Although the results are dramatic, it will not radically change your facial appearance. The muscles are simply relaxed, so you can still frown, smile, or look surprised without the wrinkles and creases.
Is BOTOX® Cosmetic expensive?
Actually, it’s quite affordable. In fact, BOTOX® is one of the least expensive facial aesthetic procedures, ranking 7th in the nine most widely used procedures in the country.
How can I find out more about BOTOX® Cosmetic?
You can visit the Web site at www.BotoxCosmetic.net.