What is Botox?
Botox is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large amounts, this toxin can cause a form of muscle paralysis known as botulism, which is usually associated with food poisoning. Even though one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it to human advantage. Small diluted (weakened) amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles causing controlled relaxation of the muscles. The FDA approved such usage in the late 1980s.
How does Botox work?
Botox blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract (tighten) as forcefully which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.
It can be used on the forehead lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines (lines on the nose), chin (for dimpling), neck lines, and around the mouth (for smoker’s lines and down-turned corners of the mouth). Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will often not respond to Botox .It is important to re-emphasize that Botox is not a facial filler and does not fill existing wrinkles. It merely relaxes the muscles that create wrinkles.
How is Botox performed?
Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require anesthesia. Botox is injected with fine needles into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect. It is best to avoid alcohol at least one week before the procedure. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should also be avoided two weeks prior to treatment in ordr to reduce bruising.(Follow doctor recommendations)
How long does Botox last?
Botox will last three to six months. As muscle movement gradually return, so too do lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and need retreatment. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time as muscles become trained to relax.
What are the side effects of Botox?
Temporary bruising and headaches are the most common side effects of Botox lasting anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
Who should not receive Botox?
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding under the age of 18, have kidney disorders, or individuals with neurological diseases should not use Botox. Consult with your doctor prior to procedure as not all wrinkles get treated with Botox.