There are multiple brands of neuromodulators (botulinum toxin) that have been approved for use by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The protein is made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When used correctly and in small doses, it has a number of cosmetic and medical uses. It is safe and has very few side effects when used in a therapeutic context.
- Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance
- Severe underarm sweating or hyperhidrosis
- Cervical dystonia – a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions
- Chronic migraine
How Does it Work
Botox/Xeomin/Dysport are neurotoxins. These substances disrupt the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction. This is how the drug causes temporary muscle paralysis.
In order for muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten.
Botox injections prevent the release of acetylcholine, which stops muscle cells from contracting. The toxin reduces abnormal muscle contraction, allowing the muscles to become less stiff.
For this reason, it is best used on dynamic wrinkles – those formed by facial movements, such as squinting (crow’s feet), smiling, and furrowing of the brow (forehead wrinkles and frown lines). Over time, these contractions produce permanent furrows and deep wrinkles in the skin, especially around the eyes and mouth, between the eyebrows, and on the forehead. BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can not only prevent you from deepening these lines during natural facial movements, they can also erase these marks of aging, leaving you looking younger and refreshed.
A rejuvenated look by smoothing crow’s feet beneath the eyes, frown lines between the eyebrows, horizontal lines across the forehead, worry lines around the mouth, and lines on the neck.
What are possible side effects?
- When injected to the forehead there is a small risk of bruising. This usually lasts for five to seven days and clears without leaving a scar.
- When injected around the eyes there is a small risk of drooping of the brows (called ptosis). This is also temporary and can be improved with medicated eye drops.
- When injected into the underarms or hands, there is mild, temporary weakness of the hand. For example, it might be more difficult to open a tight jar, but typing ability would not be affected.
Is it for everyone?
Although Botox® is a very safe treatment, it should not be used in pregnant women or anyone with some specific neurological diseases.
Image courtesy of Goldson Medical Assoc LLC after -- treatments"