What is Botox®?
Botox® (botulinum toxin type A) is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments today. An estimate of more than six million treatments are administered per year in the United States. It has more than 20 medical applications, including the temporary relief of fine lines and wrinkles in the faces of adults.
- Crow’s feet
- Frown lines
- Forehead furrows
This cosmetic treatment is a nerve poison (neurotoxin) procured from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is ubiquitous in the natural environment in areas such as soil, lakes and forests. It is responsible for causing the illness botulism, which can be deadly.
Botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known to man. Just 1 gram of the toxin has the potential to kill over one million people. Despite this, botulinum toxin in the natural setting is largely inactive and non-toxic.
How Does Botox® Work?
Botox® reduces fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying facial muscles. In order for a muscle to contract, a nerve releases a chemical messenger called acetylcholine (ACh) at the junction or gap between the nerve ending and muscle tissue. These injections, when given in exceedingly small doses, block this message (ACh) from the nerves to the muscles.
As a result, the injected muscle can no longer forcefully contract. This effectively relaxes the fine lines and wrinkles in the face that have accumulated over the years. It should be emphasized that Botox® is NOT a facial filler. In other words, it does not fill existing wrinkles.
How is the Botox® Injection Procedure Performed?
Botox® injections are usually administered in the comfort of your physician’s office. Ice or a topical cream may be used to numb the treatment area. Prior to administration, botulinum toxin powder is diluted with saline. Then, very small doses of Botox® are injected directly into facial muscles via a very thin needle.
The injections are quick and can take as little as 10 minutes, depending on the size of the area to be treated. The following areas may be treated with Botox® injections:
- Furrows in the forehead
- Frown lines between the eyebrows
- Crow’s feet (lines that fan out from the corners of the eyes)
The results of Botox® are typically noticeable within 24-72 hours and may last up to four months. You should not lose the ability to show facial expressions when injected by an adequately trained and experienced physician. Botulinum toxin should not be used in pregnant or lactating women.
What are the Side Effects and Downtime (if any) for a Botox® Procedure?
Botulinum toxin injections are relatively safe. Yet, some side effects may include:
- Bruising at injection site
- Allergic reactions
- Dry eyes
- Double vision
- Drooping of the eyelids
There is minimal downtime, or recovery, from Botox® injections, and most patients resume normal activity immediately after the procedure. As a result, it is often referred to as “a lunchtime procedure.” Contact Precision MD today to see if Botox® is the right cosmetic treatment choice for you.
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