Botox is diluted, purified form of Botulinum toxin, which is an extremely effective muscle relaxant. Although Botox is a toxin, there have been no serious side effects. It is important to remember that, although Botox is derived from the botulinum organism, the organism itself is never injected. The material that is injected is the muscle relaxant produced by the botulinum bacteria.
When Botox is injected into the superficial muscles of the face, the motor nerve is paralyzed and the injected muscle relaxes. The relaxed muscle prevents the wrinkle lines caused by squinting, frowning, and raising the eyebrows. Botix is used on the face, only around the eyes and forehead, so as not to affect a patient’s smile. It is important to understand that Botox only relaxes the overactive facial muscles that cause wrinkles. Skin will retain normal sensation and motion in all treated areas. Muscles that are not treated and those related to other expressions are not affected.
Botox will take its full effect in 1-2 weeks. The effect of Botox is reversible, lasting between 3-9 months depending on the number of previous treatments. The effect then gradually fades back to its original state. A memory response may develop with repeated Botox injections if they are done every 3 months for approximately 1 year. So although the effects are not permanent, there may be a gradual lengthening of time interval between treatments.
Candidates for Botox injection are:
- Between 25 and 60 years of age.
- Seeking improvement and smoothing of the skin between the eyebrows, the lines of the forehead, and the crow’s feet area around the eyes. It has taken years to form perm press wrinkles. Botox will relax the muscles under the skin, but may only soften the deep wrinkles.
- Younger patients and patients with fewer wrinkles who will have the added benefit of preventing further etching of the skin caused by repeated squinting, frowning, and creasing of the forehead.
- Patients who have had laser resurfacing or a face lift will also benefit by preventing repeated wrinkling of newly treated skin.
Patients who should not receive Botox:
- Patients who are pregnant
- Nursing mothers
- Patients who have neuromuscular disease
- Patients taking amnioglycosides i.e. Gentamicin, or certain antibiotics or other drugs treating neuromuscular conditions.
We will discuss all the above concerns during the consult.
What to expect:
Topical anesthetic cream or ice compresses for several minutes prior to the treatment will effectively numb the area. When the Botox is injected, a slight stinging sensation may be felt. It quickly subsides. Once the injection is complete, ice compresses are applied.