Botox is a protein which is produced by bacteria. The protein is purified and used in very small amounts for the treatment of wrinkles. Botox causes a temporary weakening of the hyperactive muscle by blocking the nerve impulse to the muscle. The muscle then relaxes and this results in smoothing of the overlying wrinkle.
When is Botox used?
Botox is most commonly used to treat wrinkles between the eyebrows (frown lines) and on the forehead. Botox is also used to treat wrinkles on the outer eyelid area (crow's feet), wrinkles around the mouth (lipstick lines) and droopy eyebrows. Botox can also enhance the effects of other surgical procedures such as laser skin resurfacing and blepharoplasty surgery (eyelid lift).
Is the treatment painful?
Since tiny amounts of Botox are injected around the eyelids using a very fine needle, pain is minimal. Botox injections take only a few minutes to administer and are generally well-tolerated. Most patients are comfortable following treatment and can immediately resume normal activities.
Is Botox safe?
Botox has been used for the treatment of wrinkles for over 6 years. The effect is localized to the injection site and there is no spread to other major parts of the body. Patients who are pregnant, nursing or have a neurologic disease are not good candidates for Botox.
What can I expect after treatment?
The effect of Botox is usually seen within 1 to 2 days and lasts for 3 to 6 months. The treatment can be repeated every 3 to 6 months as needed.
Are there any side-effects?
Side-effects of Botox are infrequent, temporary and reversible if they occur. Droopy eyelid, dry eye and double vision are uncommon complaints and disappear within weeks. Artificial tears and lubricating ointment may be prescribe if dryness occurs. Temporary eyelid bruising may occur and can be hidden with makeup. Aspirin and other blood thinners should be stopped prior to Botox treatment to decrease bruising. Generalized weakness of all facial muscles does not occur since Botox relaxes only the hyperactive muscles localized to the injection site.