All You Might Want To Know About Botox®
What is Botox®?
Botox® is a highly purified protein obtained from a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium. It is considered a miracle cosmetic tool because of the way it works on a number of skin problems related to ageing. Dermatologists use botulinum toxin therapy to diminish signs of aging and to treat a medical condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). It is FDA approved to treat frown lines and excess sweating. An extremely safe treatment, it’s one of the most widely requested aesthetic procedures at the dermatologist.
How does Botox® work?
Botox® injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. It interferes with a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and works by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles. This effectively leaves the muscles without instructions to contract, therefore paralyzing them in a way. Hence frown lines miraculously look better!
What happens during this procedure?
A dermatologist injects very small amounts of Botox® on the area to be treated.
This temporarily relaxes the targeted muscles, causing fine lines and wrinkles to diminish. The results usually start to be noticed within three to 10 days or even sooner. They tend to last in most people for up to three or four months. As time passes, the muscle activity will gradually return to normal. The effect lasts about 3 to 6 months — and sometimes longer.
When treating excessive sweating, a dermatologist injects directly into the skin on the underarm. A single treatment can provide up to 6 months of relief from excessive sweating. There are numerous areas where Botox® may be used, including the forehead, crow's feet , gummy smile, chin, neck, and other areas of the body. When used around the jaw and neck, it produces what is called the Nefertiti lift, in the hands of an experienced practitioner.
Results can vary depending on who is performing the injection on the patient. It is very important to go to a physician who is experienced at this procedure.
Will I lack expressions after treatment or altered sensations?
The goal of the treatment is for the patient to have a refreshed, youthful look. To do this, the doctor injects just enough to weaken and relax the targeted muscles without affecting other muscles. This allows patients to maintain their natural facial expressions. And no, this treatment does not affect your ability to feel.
Are there different types of botulinum toxin?
Yes, there are! The various botulinum toxins possess individual potencies, and care is required to assure proper use and avoid medication errors. Recent changes to the established drug names by the FDA were intended to reinforce these differences and prevent medication errors. The products and their approved indications vary from treating cosmetic problems to neurologic ones, and include brands like Botox®, Dysport and Xeomin.
Risks are very minor with this procedure. The main risks, though very rare, consist of headache, pain, and flu-like illness. In rare cases, there may be a drooping lid or eyebrow area. These complications are typically very minor occurrences and resolve with time.
If the patient is allergic to eggs, it is important not to use this material because it is prepared with an albumin (egg) base.
What must I do before and after the procedure?
If you decide to have botulinum toxin therapy, be sure to give your dermatologist the following information before the treatment:
- Make sure your dermatologist knows about all pain-relievers, blood thinners, and other medicines. Also inform him about medicines that you buy without a prescription, such as aspirin and all herbs, vitamins, and minerals you take. Since, they can cause extra bruising.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, it is best to avoid Botox® as it is considered a pregnancy C drug.
- Tell the doctor about all surgeries and cosmetic treatments you have had. While some patients feel embarrassed talking about this, the information you share can make a difference in the results you see. Don’t omit anything — even if it seems unimportant.
After the treatment, to prevent the injected substance from spreading to areas where you do not want it, you’ll need to take a few precautions:
- Do not rub or massage the areas where you received the injections.
- If you apply makeup, take care not to press or rub it in.
- Wait two to four hours before you engage in strenuous physical activity. This includes lifting heavy items, working out, and any other physical activity that raises your heart rate.
So, the next time you look into the mirror, don’t be worried about those frown lines. Botox® can go a long way to help ease your worries!
Visit Archer Dental and Dermatology Center to get ultimate solutions to all your skin concerns. Dr.Betsy Lakshmy Narayan is a Dermatology Specialist at Archer Dental and Dermatology Center in Abu Dhabi. She is U.S trained and is widely recommended by her patients for Cosmetic Dermatology Treatments in Abu Dhabi.