Botulinum Toxin or Botox
The Botulinum Toxin type A (or Botox) is a purified toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. This is the best treatment that is available in nowadays in the field of cosmetic surgery for the disappearance of facial wrinkles (mainly of the upper face). In the market, it comes in two packages:
- Botulinum Toxin (Botox) (Allergan)
- Dysport (Ipsen)
It was first applied in Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology in the early 1990s and since then it has been an extremely popular treatment. This protein, the botulinum toxin type A, relaxes the muscles and abolishes their contraction for a certain period of time. This results in the disappearance of the wrinkles that have been created by the contraction of the specific muscles. The most common wrinkles that are eliminated with the application of Botulinum Toxin (Botox) are:
- Wrinkles between the eyebrows (glabella (or glabellar lines) /pyramidal or frown muscles)
- Forehead wrinkles ( frontal muscles, responsible for the horizontal forehead wrinkles )
- Wrinkles around the eyes or “crow’s feet” (the circular muscle that is called orbicularis muscle, responsible for the “crow’s feet” wrinkles)
- Vertical wrinkles around the mouth and especially on the upper lip (smoker’s wrinkles)
- On either side of the nose
Botulinum toxin treatment (known with the trade name Botox) is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments worldwide. It is an injectable treatment that smoothes out many types of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. This treatment is suitable for all women and men. But it should not be applied to pregnant and breastfeeding women or people with severe myopathy (muscle disease) or neurological diseases. The procedure lasts about 15-20 minutes. At first, we apply an anesthetic cream to the treated area for about 30 minutes. Then, we use a pencil to mark where the infusion will be performed and inject the drug into the muscle with a tiny insulin needle only half a millimeter thick. Botox has visible results from the 3rd day following the injection but it may take up about two (2) weeks to see the full effect.
It is a completely harmless procedure in the hands of an experienced and specialized doctor, where the unwanted side effects are limited to a slight, temporary bruising at the injection site, a feeling of heaviness and a mild swelling. Immediately following treatment, the patient may return to his/her daily activities as usual, without any restrictions.
The action of the Botulinum Toxin in the muscles lasts about 4-6 months. This essentially means that Botulinum Toxin needs to be repeated 2-3 times a year. If the patient uses Botulinum Toxin and does not repeat the treatment within six (6) months, then the wrinkles that had disappeared or softened in appearance due to the inability to contract the muscles gradually return to their previous form. In other words, when the effects of botulinum toxin begin to fade, your muscle reactions and the wrinkles will return. There are no alternative treatments to replace Botulinum Toxin and to achieve the results of Botulinum Toxin type A injection.
People at any age can get treatment with Botox. The appropriate age for someone to apply Botulinum Toxin injections depends on how he/she feels about the wrinkles that have started to form something that may affect his/her psychology. There is no specific age when wrinkles start to appear. Some people are more expressive and the wrinkles become evident at younger ages and others are less expressive and the wrinkles are visible at older ages. Modern and recent studies, however, show that the younger someone starts using Botox injections, the fewer and milder wrinkles will have at older ages.
Botox is a safe treatment with excellent results and without affecting the patients’ daily life in any way.
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