What is Botox®?
Botox® is the trade name for Botulinum Toxin Type A, a purified toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large amounts, this toxin blocks the nerve impulses to muscles, causing a form of paralysis called botulism.
By using extremely small doses of Botox®, injected directed into a specific muscle, only the action of that muscle will be relaxed. Therefore, the problem that muscle causes, like a frown line, or in other cases, a twitch or spasm, will be temporarily gone.
Where is Botox® injected?
The frown line between the eyebrows (often called the “11’s”) is caused by the action of a muscle called the corrugator. You can feel this thickening just below the inside of your eyebrows, when you purposefully make yourself frown.
Injecting Botox® directly into this corrugator muscle stops your ability to draw your eyebrows together when you frown. Once the muscle is relaxed, it cannot contract and the frown line gradually fades away. If you have strong corrugator muscles it may take more than one injection for deeper lines to go away.
Botox is also injected around the eyes for crows feet. Botox will also decrease forehead wrinkles and at the same time lift your brows. It’s amazing. It can also be used in tiny amounts for upper lip wrinkles.
Will it last?
The actual treatment takes only a few minutes and the Botox® takes effect in three to four days. Gradually, over three to five months, the Botox® effect will fade, and the muscle action will return. When the wrinkles start to reappear, a simple repeat treatment is all that is necessary to maintain the desired result.
What other conditions can Botox treat?
Botox® is also used for excess sweating (underarms, palms), migraines, tremors, and other conditions.
When we frown for any reason, we gather the tissue between our eyebrows into a fold. In some of us, this causes a chronic furrow. This produces an angry look on our face. This can be distracting to others and a look we do not want to convey.
Now you can eliminate these frown lines without surgery and without scars thanks to Botox®.
How has Botox® been tested?
Botox® has been used since 1980 for the treatment of strabismus (lazy eye) and blepharospasm (uncontrolled eye blinking). The use of Botox® for forehead wrinkles was pioneered in 1989 by Dr. Jean Carruthers of Vancouver. A major study of this technique was completed in 1995, and a review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The side effects of Botox® are related to the local injection of the solution. There will be some discomfort from the needle entering the skin and a small chance of a bruise at the site of the injection. You will need to remain upright for a few hours following the procedure. Approximately 1% of patients will develop a slight lowering or drooping of one eyelid (also known as ptosis). This is temporary and can be treated with over the counter drops. Other reported side effects include headache and upper respiratory infection. There are no reports of damage to the eye with injections to the eyelid. There have been no permanent side effects from the use of Botox®.