Botox

Botox 101

22 April 2018

The most common dermatological treatment and my favourite treatments to perform is Botox injections. Just a couple of jabs and wrinkles are erased, shaving years off your face. It is very gratifying to see my patients look younger and more refreshed without their wrinkles. I have wrinkles around my eyes that show up whenever I smile and I personally inject the area around my eyes with Botulinum toxin because let’s face it… Those wrinkles make me look old and tired.

Even though there is so much information on Botulinum toxin available these days, I’ve compiled a FAQ on Botulinum toxin to make understanding the topic of Botox easier.

What is Botox? How does it work?

Botox is a brand of Botulinum toxin, along with Dysport and Xeomin. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin derived from the bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum. This toxin acts on nerves to disrupt the signalling process between nerves and muscles by preventing the nerve endings from secreting a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine acts on the muscles to cause muscle contraction, so when this process is disrupted, the muscle does not contract and remains relaxed.

Besides being used to treat wrinkles and shrinking large jaw muscles, Botox is also used to treat excess sweating (hyperhidrosis), migraines, spasm of the eyelids (blepharospasm) and urinary incontinence.

Is Botox safe?

Botox has been used to treat various medical conditions since 1977. In 2002, Botox received FDA approval for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes. In 2015, FDA approved the use of Botox to treat chronic migraines.

As with all medications, an overdose of Botox can cause unwanted effects like facial asymmetry and lid ptosis. Botox for aesthetic purposes like the treatment of wrinkles typically requires very small doses which almost never cause any systemic side effects.

Is it reversible?

Yes, it is. Botox lasts 4-6 months before the effects wear off.

Will I look “frozen” or expressionless?

Botox relaxes the muscles when you smile or frown. When given in appropriate amounts, the results are very natural i.e. facial expression is preserved without the wrinkles. The skill and experience of the injector are very important when it comes to determining the dosage and exactly which part of the muscle to inject to avoid complete paralysis of the muscles. When too much Botox is given, all the muscles are paralysed and the “frozen” look results. So, choose your doctor wisely!

Will I get addicted to Botox?

Will you get psychologically addicted to Botox? That rarely happens in my practice because aesthetic and anti-aging treatments for my patients are very targeted, Botox is used only in specific instances i.e. wrinkles, lifting and to shrink pores and tighten skin.

Will I be dependent on Botox?

No, you will not. When the effects of Botox wear off in 4-6 months, the wrinkles will return. However, the wrinkles will not be more severe than before you started Botox. You will just return to square one. You can choose not to continue Botox injections and nothing untoward will happen to your skin.

Which areas can be addressed with Botox?

Some of the common areas addressed with Botox:

· Wrinkles- forehead, glabella, crows feet
· Jaw muscles (masseter muscle)- for jaw slimming and bruxism
· Pores and reduce oiliness of the skin- Mesobotox
· Skin to define jawline- Dermalift
· Calf muscles
· Armpit and palms for excess sweating (hyperhidrosis)

Am I too young for Botox?

If you have wrinkles, Botox can be used for you. That typically occurs in people above 40 years of age however, I have patients in their early 20’s who seek Botox injections to remove their wrinkles from chronic use. Botox jaw slimming is also another commonly requested treatment in females in their 20’s due to the popularity of the V-shaped face.

How is Botox administered?

· Botox is injected directly into the muscle
· It takes 48-72 to see the results for wrinkles and 4-6 weeks for larger muscles like the masseter.

I hope you found this post useful! In summary, Botulinum toxin is a very useful drug to treat wrinkles, excessive sweating, migraines and shrink pores and in experienced hands, results are ideal.



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