How does Botulinum toxin work?
The muscles of the face are connected to the facial skin. When these muscles contract, the skin attached to them, move. This movement is then evident as wrinkles, also known as rhytids. With repetitive usage of these muscles, the wrinkles that were once only present during movement (dynamic rhytids), become permanent lines (static rhytids).
Botulinum toxin, commonly referred to as Botox®, prevent muscles from contracting by stopping the nerve signal from reaching these muscles. Without the muscle contraction, the dynamic wrinkles and lines diminish.
This is why it is a good preventative procedure to administer botulinum toxin before dynamic wrinkles become fixed, static features. With repeated treatments, botulinum toxin has the ability to also treat the appearance of static wrinkles.
What can Botulinum toxin be used for?
As mentioned, the main indication for the use of botulinum toxin, is the treatment of dynamic and/or static wrinkles. Common areas that may be treated include:
Crow’s feet (eye)
Peach pit chin
Other aesthetic indications are based on the principle of balance. Most muscles in the body work in pairs. This is also true for the facial muscles. One muscle’s function would be to move up(elevator), whereas another muscle’s function would be to move down (depressor). With knowledge of the anatomy, areas of the face can be manipulated by either weakening an up or down muscle. Common treatments include:
Downward facing mouth corners
Botulinum toxin is not reserved for aesthetic treatments. In fact, the medical use of botulinum toxin precedes the use for aesthetic indications. Common treatments include:
Chronic, refractory migraines
Teeth grinding (bruxism)
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
Am I too YOUNG for Botox®?
The aesthetic use of botulinum toxin is anywhere from 18 years of age. I firmly believe that prevention is better than cure. By initiating treatment in your 20’s and 30’s, the possibility exists to prevent dynamic wrinkles from becoming static, harder-to-treat wrinkles.
When will it take effect &
how long does it last?
The effects of botulinum toxin take time. The effects will start being evident within 48-72 hours, with the peak effect at 14-21 days.
The duration various from patient to patient. It depends on your muscle strength and bulk, your lifestyle in addition to the area injected and dose of botulinum toxin administered. The average duration is 3 months.
Are there any
side-effects or complications?
Whenever a needle punctures the skin, there exists the possibility of discomfort or pain. We do employ strategies to minimize the discomfort of the injections. Other side-effects include headache, a stuffy feeling in the nose and bruising. The rarer side-effects include treatment failure, eyelid and eyebrow drooping, the peaked brow and smile irregularities.
Not everyone is suitable candidates for botulinum toxin injections. Click here to find the list of contra-indications.