In 1895, scientists managed to isolate the bacterium responsible for botulism (clostridium butulinum) for the first time. Almost a hundred years later, the botulinum toxin it produces was being used in the treatment of eye problems such as blepharospasm and strabismus (squint) and other muscular disorders such as post-stroke spasticity and dystonia. Then, in April 2002, the FDA finally approved its use as a cosmetic product, now largely known by its brand name Botox®, although there are physicians who use two other botulinum toxin products, which are marketed under different brand names. The different products have different potencies.
How Botox® Restores the Appearance of Youth
Botox® (onibotulinum toxin) is an extremely diluted preparation of the botulinum toxin, a protein which acts on neuro-muscular junctions, blocking nervous impulses from reaching the muscle in question reducing its contraction. At high doses temporary paralysis of the muscle. The effect wears off within a few months. Botox® deployment is now the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the world, and is used predominantly to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes. Other current uses of Botox are medical, and include migraine and hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) of the hands and axillae.
To ensure Botox® is applied only to specific muscles, a trained provider will carefully inject a minuscule amount of the diluted substance directly into the target muscles of the face, using a very tiny needle. The procedure is quick (lasting only a few seconds) and requires no anesthesia, causing only a small level of discomfort if any. Nonetheless, we offer topical local anesthetic for those who want it. The majority of clients tolerate the procedure very well and are free to resume their daily activities almost immediately after the treatment (although they should avoid rubbing the area for a few hours and are advised not to lie down flat for three to four hours).
Over a period of 3-10 days, the protein will gradually act to temporarily weaken the target muscles so that they become relaxed and perhaps unable to contract, causing flattening of the fine wrinkles. To the external observer, the area becomes more relaxed and the skin smoother as the lines fade and the face looks relaxed and nonchalant, giving the expression of confidence. Although Botox® has only a temporary effect, requiring re-treatment every four months or so, the muscles gradually learn to relax of their own accord, helping to diminish the appearance of lines in the long term and requiring less frequent treatments.
Botox® treatments are completely safe and can be combined with temporary or permanent filler applications for a more thorough or dramatic rejuvenating effect. Some people may experience a little temporary bruising, owing to a slight ooze from a skin capillary, but this should soon resolve. Temporary headaches are another possible but uncommon side effect. Rarely a slight drop of the eyelid occurs if the injection is placed lower than needed, but again, this tends to resolve within a few weeks. Massaging the site of injection inadvertently, within a couple of hours of injecting the material, may contribute to this complication.
Popular Applications for Botox®
As a cosmetic product, Botox® was first used to treat moderate to severe wrinkle lines around the eyes. This effect was discovered incidentally while treating an eye muscle to correct squint. Thereafter the vertical, glabellar wrinkles and lines, between the eyes were the first to be treated deliberately. These are the vertical lines that appear between the eyebrows and look like a number 11 in some people. Since then, the scope of Botox use has expanded to encompass numerous other fine lines and wrinkles caused by the same process of active muscular contraction. These include crows feet, the claw-like wrinkles seen around the eyes; horizontal ‘worry lines’ above the forehead, the frown lines; the platysmal, vertical bands of the neck and the bunny lines, on either side of the nose. As mentioned above, another use of Botox® is in treating hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive perspiration under the armpits and on the palms and soles of the feet. In this case, the Botox is injected into the skin of the armpits and hands, not muscles.
Botox® is unable to act upon lines that are caused by factors other than muscle contractions, like laxity. These include wrinkles caused by sun damage or loss of volume.
Certain groups of people are also ineligible for Botox® treatment including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anyone who has been diagnosed with a neurological disease. These are precautionary, relative contraindications, since Botox deployment is an elective, cosmetic procedure.
If you would like to create a youthful impression with a relaxed, nonchalant look by addressing fine lines and wrinkles, using Botox® or through other cosmetic non-invasive, or minimally-invasive procedures, please visit the Spring of Youth Medical Group’s website at: www.springofyouthmedical.com. Alternatively, give our excellent team a call on (228) 875-0885.