Mar 26, 2009
The cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, often referred to by its product name BOTOX®, is a popular non-surgical injection that temporarily reduces or eliminates frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck. The toxin blocks the nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles while giving the skin a smoother, more refreshed appearance. Studies have also suggested that BOTOX is effective in relieving migraine headaches, excessive sweating and muscle spasms in the neck and eyes.
BOTOX® is a therapeutic muscle-relaxing agent that works at motor nerve endings (nerves that lead to muscles). It is in a class of drugs called neurotoxins. BOTOX® has been granted FDA approval for use on "crow's feet," between brows, forehead, and upper lip area.
Botulinum toxin injection therapy is also used to treat dystonia—a neuromuscular disorder that produces involuntary muscle contractions, or spasm—that affects muscles that control movement in the eyes, neck, face, limbs, voice box, or the smooth muscle in the bladder. The goal of the therapy is to reduce muscle spasm and pain.
What is Botox?
BOTOX® is the commercial tradename for Botulinum Toxin Type A. Botulinum Toxin is derived from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum.There are seven known types of C. botulinum toxin, but only types A; (BOTOX® Cosmetic) and B (Myobloc®) are used as medical treatments. When injected into muscles, Botulinum Toxin has a local effect. It blocks transmission between the nerve endings and muscle fibres around the injection site to cause weakness of the nearby muscle.
What is Botox used for?
Botox is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines. It is typically used in people aged 18 to 65. Botox works by blocking nerve transmission to temporarily reduce the contractions of the facial muscles that cause frown lines.
It has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for wrinkles, and botox injections are becoming increasingly popular.
Botulinum toxin has proven to be useful in the treatment of many forms of dystonia, including the following:
* blepharospasm–forceful involuntary closure of the eyelids
* strabismus–misalignment of the eyes
* hemifacial spasm–sudden contraction of the muscles on one side of the face
* spasmodic torticollis, or cervical dystonia–muscle spasm in the neck that causes the head to turn to one side, and sometimes forward or backward
* oromandibular dystonia–continuous spasms of the face, jaw, neck, tongue, larynx, and in severe cases, the respiratory system
* urinary retention–severe inability to urinate that requires catheterization
* spasmodic dysphonia–spasm of the vocal cords that causes sudden disruption of speech
* stuttering–repetitions of parts of words and whole words, long pauses, elongated sounds
* voice tremor–quavering vocalization
* limb spasticity (e.g., following stroke)
Is Botox safe?
BOTOX Cosmetic™ is very safe. It has been used since the 1970’s for the treatment of lazy eye muscles. Since the 2000 it has been used on millions of people yearly and in fact is the number one cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. Its side effects are local and may include:
* Slight bruising
* Short-term headache
* Tenderness at the injection site
* Temporary ptosis or drooping of the eyelid or the brows
Who can have Botox treatment?
Your doctor will decide if you can have cosmetic treatment with botox. Before starting treatment, tell your doctor if you have any disorders that affect your nerves and muscles, if you are breastfeeding, or if you are planning to become pregnant soon.
The Botox injection procedure
Your doctor will administer several tiny injections of botox directly into the muscles of your face. Prior to injection, your doctor will determine where to administer the injections by examining your ability to move certain muscles in your brow area. The entire botox injection procedure takes approximately 10 minutes and does not require anaesthesia. Discomfort is usually minimal and brief.
Doctors should avoid injection near the levator palpebrae superioris, particularly in patients with larger brow-depressor complexes. Medial corrugator injections should be placed at least 1 cm above the bony supraorbital ridge.
After the injection
You should notice an improvement in your frown lines within 3 to 7 days, the effects of which can last up to 4 months. However, results may vary. After a period of time, your frown lines will begin to reappear as the effects of botox wear off.
How often can Botox injections be given?
You can receive botox injections every 4 months. With repeated treatments, thinning of the muscles occurs, which produces longer lasting results.
How much does Botox treatment cost?
Each treatment costs around £200.
Possible side-effects of Botox
- flu-like symptoms
- temporary eyelid droop (ptosis)
- squint/double vision
- twitching of the eye
- facial pain
- redness at the injection site
- muscle weakness
Do not have botox treatment if you:
- have an infection where botox will be injected
- are allergic to any of the ingredients
- are pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- have a neurological disorder (eg. Myasthenia Gravis)
There are also a number of medicines that may interact with botox (eg. quinidine, some antibiotics). It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any medication.