Most known for reducing crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles, botox is the leading non-surgical cosmetic medical procedure globally and its popularity continues to skyrocket. Botox works by relaxing the facial muscles. It is a purified protein produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium, and works most commonly between the eyes and above the nose. Botox is employed for a wide spectrum of facial lines and wrinkles that includes forehead lines, bunny lines (across the top of the nose), marionette lines (below the corners of the mouth), smiles lines and smokers lines. No recovery time required.

A botox cosmetic treatment typically takes just a few minutes of injecting the fluid into the targeted area with a fine-gauge needle and requires virtually no recovery time. Since the needle is so tiny and the procedure so quick, physicians do not usually numb the area being treated. In sensitive areas such as around the lips, however, some physicians may apply local anesthesia just prior to the treatment. Within days, most patients experience noticeable improvement in moderate to severe facial lines.

Botulinum Toxin Type A, is an exciting way of treating wrinkles. However, it has been used over the years to treat other cosmetic conditions such as muscle spasms on the face. This is what led to it being recognized as a treatment that can treat facial wrinkles. What is Botox? It is just one brand of the Botulinum Toxin Type A that is produced by the bacteria clostridium botulinum. This product is produced by the Allergan, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical company. Botox treatment is quite safe especially when used in small doses and injected directly to a specific area.

How Botox Works

Botox works by blocking the release of Acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) at the neuro-muscular junction. This neurotransmitter found in the nerve cells usually transmits a nerve impulse to a muscle cell and causes it to contract. Without acetylcholine, the muscle is unable to contract and is weakened. The Botox injection is restricted to the area under treatment simply because the effect is temporary and the nerve fibres have the capability of regenerating after a few months.

How Botox Injections Treat Wrinkles

Botox injections treat wrinkles on the face by weakening or causing paralysis of the muscles found on the face and pulling the skin. About a week after the injections, the wrinkles and lines start disappearing. However, you will still be able to form facial expressions if the correct amount is used.

It is used to treat the vertical frown lines which are referred to as glabellar lines. These are found between eyebrows and are caused by the contraction of muscles when one frowns, squints or concentrates. Other lines such as crow’s feet (lines found at the corner of the eyes) and horizontal lines at the forehead can also be treated with Botox injections.

How long does the effect last?

The effect usually lasts between 4 to 6 months. However with continued use, the effects of the injections last longer.

A number of patients who use the Botox injections end up developing antibodies that neutralize the effect of the injections resulting in ineffective treatment. This only happens when they repeatedly use the treatment.

How safe are Botox Injections?

When administered by medical professionals with a lot of experience in the treatment, the Botox injections are quite safe. There are some mild and temporary side effects are associated with the treatment. These include pain, bruising and tenderness associated with the Botox injection. It is common for most people to experience a slight headache right after the treatment is administered. Others also experience nausea and flu syndromes.

One of the significant side effects of the treatment is the risk of a drooping eye for a few days. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this treatment. Just like other medical treatments there are benefits and side effects that come with this treatment. It is important that you talk to your doctor to get all the facts right.

Other uses of Botox Injections

It is used to treat various medical conditions that include:
• Muscle spasms in the face or other localized area

  • Twitching of the eyelid (blepharospasm)
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Muscle spasms in the neck (cervical dystonia) and
  • Proper alignment of the eyes (strabismus)

    Botox injections are also used to reduce excessive underarm sweating. This is done by blocking the action of the nerve cells that control the sweat glands. By being injected directly on the underarms they can treat localized hyperhidrosis.