Botox® is the brand name of a toxin isolated from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Small, diluted amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles causing controlled weakening of the muscles. It has long been used in children born with muscle spasms to relax the muscles. Here the doses required are ten times higher than the dose used for cosmetic treatments in adults.
The US FDA gave approval for use of Botulinum Toxin Type A (available as Botox® Cosmetic) in the late 1980s upon the discovery that patients treated for Squint found the wrinkles around the eyes disappearing with treatment. In April 2002, Botox® gained US FDA approval for treatment of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows – called glabellar lines or 11’s. However, Botox® is often used for other areas of the face as well viz. bunny lines, gummy smile, lip enhancement, eyebrow lift.
How Does Botox® Work?Botox® blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.
It is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines.How Is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. Botox® is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect. It is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior and 4 hours after treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment as well in order to reduce bruising.