Botox® is the trade name for Botulinum Toxin, a neurotoxin in the form of a purified protein. The mechanism of action for Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is really quite simple; it is injected into facial muscles but really doesn’t affect the muscle at all. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) works by blocking the transmitters between the motor nerves that innervate the muscle.
The areas typically treated with Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for wrinkles are the forehead, between the eyes (glabellar region), around the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet) and around the lips (smokers lines or gummy smile). There is no loss of sensory feeling in the muscles. Once the motor nerve endings are interrupted, the muscle cannot contract, causing wrinkles in the skin to smooth. The effects of Botulinum Toxin (Botox) last approximately three to four months, at which time the patient will require retreatment.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) has important clinical uses as an adjunct in facial pain and bruxism cases for patients with chronic TMJ and orofacial pain. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is also used to complement esthetic dentistry as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery.
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is used esthetically to decrease the appearance of aging by reducing muscle movement. Areas of treatment include; the glabellar area (the 11's/frown lines between the eyes), frontalis muscles (forehead lines), crow’s feet, chin dimples, radial lip lines (smoker’s lines) and nose lines. Botulinum Toxin can also be used to reduce the muscle mass in the masseters (jaw line) for a slimming facial esthetic result.
Receiving Botulinum Toxin takes only a few minutes and there’s no need for anesthesia or down time. The injections are made using a very fine needle and are virtually painless.
Generally, results are visible within two to ten days. To reduce the possibility of bruising/swelling, it is recommended to avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours and aspirin/anti-inflammatory medications for a period of two weeks prior to the procedure. As always, consult your physician before stopping any medications.
The most common side effects of Botulinum Toxin injections are bruising, redness, and swelling. Other, rare side effects are possible and will be reviewed by the treating physician. To avoid adverse reactions/results, do not manipulate the treated area for 2 hours after injections and maintain an upright position.
The esthetic effects of Botulinum Toxin typically last three to four months. As the treated muscles regain movement, lines and wrinkles will begin to reappear and require retreatment. Over time, these lines and wrinkles should appear less noticeable due to training the treated muscles to relax.