What are Botox injections?
BOTOX is the brand name of a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Small, weakened amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles to cause controlled relaxation of the muscles.
The FDA approved cosmetic use of Botox in the late 1980s. Cosmetic physicians have been using BOTOX for years to successfully treat wrinkles and fine lines of the face. BOTOX is approved for the treatment of frown lines on the forehead, crow’s feet and axillary hyperhidrosis.
How Does It Work?
BOTOX blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer tighten as forcefully and this leads to the softening of wrinkles.
It can be used on forehead lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines, chin dimpling, skin bands on the neck and around the mouth. BOTOX is most effective on wrinkles caused by repetitive movement and not as effective on wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity. BOTOX is not a facial filler. It can only relax the muscles that are creating those wrinkles.
How is the procedure performed?
BOTOX is injected with a very small needle into specific muscles with very minor discomfort. The procedure only takes a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. It usually takes four to seven days, but sometimes even as long as two weeks, for it to take full effect. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment (if given permission by a physician) in order to reduce the risk of bruising.
What are the side effects of BOTOX?
The most common side effect of the injections are temporary bruising and slight pain with injection. Headaches can occur, but are rare.
A very small percentage of patients may develop eyebrow or eyelid drooping, drooping of the corner of the mouth or inability to use a straw, depending on where it is injected. For this reason do not rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection or lie down for four hours after injection.
Who should NOT receive BOTOX injections?
Patients that should not use BOTOX include those who:
- Are pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have a neurological disease
- Are allergic to albumin or a part of the preservative
How long does an injection last?
The effects of BOTOX will last four to six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles will begin to reappear and will need to be re-treated to maintain the effect.
After repeated injections, the lines and wrinkles will often appear less severe because the muscles are trained to relax.
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