What You Should Know About Botox
SD Botox is an effective, non-surgical treatment for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. It is a safe cosmetic treatment that has been used for decades.
It blocks nerve signals to muscles so they can’t contract and cause lines or wrinkles. It’s best to use a physician experienced with this procedure.
The botulinum toxin used in cosmetic and medical treatments is a potent neurotoxin that blocks nerve signals to muscles. Injected muscles can no longer contract, causing wrinkles to relax and lines to soften. Botox is available from board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. You can use our ABCS Find-a-Surgeon tool to locate a plastic surgeon near you.
The toxins are made from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that naturally occur in soil, lakes and forests, and live as spores in the intestinal tracts of some mammals and fish. When exposed to moisture, the spores become active bacteria that produce a deadly toxin called botulinum. When diluted and injected into the right muscle tissue, the toxins work as antidotes to a variety of medical conditions, most of which affect the neuromuscular system.
In clinical practice, doctors dilute the powder form of botulinum toxin type A in saline and inject it into neuromuscular tissue. Most injections are given in the upper face to eliminate or diminish glabellar lines (procerus and corrugator muscles), forehead rhytides and crow’s feet (lateral orbicularis oculi muscle). Occasionally, the toxin can spread beyond the targeted area and cause weakness of distant muscles as shown by specialized electromyographic tests.
Doctors also use the toxins to treat spastic disorders of the eyelids, face and neck. Despite the potential for side effects, these toxins are very safe and effective when administered by experienced physicians. The use of these substances is revolutionizing the treatment of ophthalmic spastic disorders and facial dystonias, and newer, more potent toxin preparations will help improve their efficacy.
Before undergoing botox injections, tell your doctor about any medicines or supplements you take. Some drugs can decrease the effect of botulinum toxin or increase bruising, including aspirin and other drugs used to prevent blood clots (such as alteplase, clopidogrel and dipyridamole).
Your healthcare provider will clean the injection site and may apply an anesthetic before inserting the needles. The injections feel like pinpricks, and patients report mild discomfort. The providers reconstitute the toxin into a solution and inject it into the target muscle(s). Most patients do not require a topical anesthetic because they only experience minimal pain.
Injections of botulinum toxin type A, commonly known as “Botox,” smooth facial wrinkles by weakening or paralyzing specific muscles. Its effect lasts three to four months.
The injections are quick and relatively painless. A numbing cream can be applied before injection to reduce pain and discomfort in sensitive areas. The injections are made into small holes in the skin, usually near the muscles to be treated. The injections are placed by a doctor who is trained and certified in the use of this procedure.
Some doctors specialize in the administration of botulinum toxin for medical purposes. A few of these doctors have offices devoted exclusively to this treatment.
Botox is used to treat many conditions, including neck spasms, a condition called cervical dystonia, excessive sweating, a condition that causes the eyes to misalign (lazy eye), and migraine headaches. It also may be useful in treating a problem with the nervous system called Bell’s palsy, which can cause facial drooping.
It is not clear exactly how the injections work. But it is thought that the toxin blocks nerve signals to the muscle in which it is injected. The lack of nerve signals prevents the muscle from contracting. This can cause the appearance of wrinkles to diminish or the other conditions to improve.
Depending on the area being treated, the injections can be given by subcutaneous, intramuscular, or deep dermal injection. Subcutaneous and deep dermal injections are usually done in the doctor’s office and are relatively painless. Using a fine needle, the injections are administered to a tiny point in the skin just above the muscles to be treated.
Injections of botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated. Occasionally, the injections can cause bleeding or bruising at the injection site, which can be relieved by applying pressure directly to the area. Other possible side effects include headache, flu-like symptoms, drooping of the eyelids, or trouble swallowing. It is important to tell your doctor if you have taken blood thinners within the past four months, as these medicines can increase the risk of bleeding at the injection site.
Botox injections weaken or paralyze certain muscles. They work by blocking nerve signals to the muscle cells. They also prevent the release of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the junction where nerve endings meet muscle cells. This prevents the cells from contracting, or shortening. This is the mechanism behind Botox’s primary cosmetic use, which reduces facial wrinkles. The injections are quick and relatively painless. Your doctor may numb the injection site before giving the shot.
The most common side effects are pain, swelling, or bruising where the injection was given. Some people have a headache or flu-like symptoms. Injections in the face can cause a temporary drooping of the eyelid. If you have a neuromuscular disorder, like amyloid lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome or myasthenia gravis, you are at a higher risk of serious side effects from the drug.
You should not receive this medicine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. It is not known if this medicine is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It is also not known if it will harm an unborn baby. You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This medicine is made from donated human plasma. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of infection, but there is still a small chance it could transmit disease.
If you are having surgery, you should not receive this medicine until after the procedure is complete. It can interfere with the ability of your surgeon to perform the surgery properly. It can also affect your breathing or swallowing.
Doctors discovered that Botox was helpful for crossed eyes and other spasms of the face by accident. Then, they noticed that it also helped some of their patients with migraines. The FDA approved the drug for this use in 2010. Doctors can also use it to treat cervical dystonia, a condition that causes your neck muscles to contract abnormally and make your head tilt one way or another. They can also use it to treat other muscular stiffness in your arms, hands and legs.
After botox treatment, the patient may start to notice that the fine lines and wrinkles on their face begin to fade. This usually happens around 3 – 5 days after treatment. The results will gradually become more pronounced over the next 14 days. By the end of this time, all the injection areas will look smoother and more youthful. This effect will last about 4 months.
After that, the Botox will start to wear off, and the muscles and fine lines will reappear. It is important that the patient does not use nicotine products, such as vaping or smoking, during this time. These habits can lead to the dynamic lines reappearing sooner. The patient should also avoid facial massage and other treatments for one or two weeks after the injections. This will help minimize the toxins dislodging and traveling into other muscle groups.
The patient should schedule regular follow-up appointments to maintain the effects of Botox. These appointments can be scheduled every four to six months, depending on the desired outcome and severity of the wrinkles. The frequency of follow-ups can be increased as the muscles and skin become more accustomed to the treatment.
In addition to treating cosmetic concerns, Botox can also be used to treat medical problems. For example, it can be injected to prevent migraines by targeting the muscles that cause them. It can also be used to treat excessive sweating and certain muscle spasms. The FDA has approved several uses for this medicine, and it is very safe when injected by an experienced doctor.
The results of a Botox treatment can be dramatic and long-lasting, but it is important to remember that this is a medical procedure that must be performed by a qualified professional. The results can be uneven or even disastrous if the injections are not properly administered. The experience of the injector has a huge impact on the quality of a Botox treatment, so patients should be cautious when looking for a provider. The price of a Botox treatment is also an indicator of the quality of care that the provider offers. If the price is too low, it is a red flag that the doctor may not be well trained in this procedure.