What is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox Cosmetic also known as Botulinum toxin type-a (Botox) is a neurotoxin protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox Cosmetic is an injectable neurotoxin which is the same toxin which causes botulism. However, there is no need to worry about botulism since Botox Cosmetic is safe and has very few side effects when used correctly and in the right dosage. Botox Cosmetic is an injectable FDA approved for cosmetic reasons such as relaxing the facial muscles reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is typically used to treat wrinkles in the forehead, glabellar lines, frown lines and crow’s feet (around the eye area). Botox Cosmetic over the years has also been FDA approved for other uses such as treatment in migraine headaches in addition to treating excessive sweating also known as hyperhidrosis.
Botox Cosmetic is manufactured by Allergan a known leader in the pharmaceutical industry who have garnered the respect and credibility of the FDA, Physicians and their competitors.
Medical uses of Botox
The use of Botox® has other indications besides the treatment of wrinkles. Botox® has is also FDA approved to treat the following medical conditions. The distribution of Botox by Allergan to treat medical conditions is distributed under the trademark Botox® and not Botox Cosmetic® as trademarked for cosmetic use.
The use of Botox® has expanded significantly in the United States. The U.S. food and drug administration (FDA) has approved Botox to be used for multiple reasons other than cosmetic purposes (e.g. facial wrinkles) such as: treating chronic migraines, muscle spasms, spasticity, cerebral palsy, cervical dystonia which is a neurological movement disorder (when the neck muscles contract involuntarily; causing your head to twist or turn towards one side). The use of botulinum toxin can also help patients with eye conditions such as strabismus, commonly known as cross-eyed, in which botulinum toxin is injected into extra-ocular muscles in order to reduce the misalignment of the eyes. Botox can also be used to treat blepharospasm, which is an abnormal spasm of the eyelids..
In addition to the aforementioned approved uses, Botox is also used off label, without FDA approval, to treat other medical conditions. While the use of Botox® to treat alopecia, psoriais, dishidrotic eczema, post- herpetic neuralgia, vulvodynia, Raynaud’s syndrome, achalasia (an issue with the throat that makes swallowing difficult) conditions is not approved by the FDA, there are ongoing clinical trials to substantiate the efficacy of its use. As these clinical trials get approval by the FDA, the use of Botox® for additional medical indications will hopefully expand.
They currently include:
- Medical conditions that involve an overactive bladder and bowel disorders
- Dishidrotic eczema
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Raynaud syndrome
- Achalasia, an issue with the throat that makes swallowing difficult
- Anismus, a dysfunction of the anal muscle
- Sialorrhea, a condition where the body produces too much saliva
Do not receive Botox (onabotulinumtoxina) if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Botox or had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum type brand names such as Myobloc (botulinumtoxin type b), Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA).
Botox is safe, when done correctly
Botox is one of the most highly requested and commonly performed procedure by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Since Botox Cosmetic has been approved for cosmetic use it has risen in popularity and is one of the most popular and safest noninvasive procedures for cosmetic purposes.
When should I start getting Botox treatments?
There is no magic age to start getting Botox treatments. Everyone’s genetics and facial dynamics are different, and some may experience an earlier onset of wrinkles than others. Botox is one of the keys to preventing premature wrinkling in that it does not just treat wrinkles, it prevents their formation. Botox has been heavily criticized over the years with myths such as Botox will make you lose all of your facial expressions. With the correct technique, there is no need to worry about that happening from your Botox injections. Botox are safe and effective when used correctly by an experienced injector. Dr. Michele Green’s experience with using “baby Botox“, which are small amounts of carefully placed Botox, is the perfect way for a Botox novice to get started.
How does Botox work?
Neurotoxins work by targeting the nervous system, they disrupt the signal processes that allow neurons to communicate with cells throughout the body. Botulinum toxin, if distributed in high concentrations can cause botulism, a severe life-threatening illness. The use of Botox is safe when performed by a dermatologist or other licensed medical professionals. Botulinum neurotoxin can be used in extremely small concentrations in order to prevent signals from the nerve cells to the muscles from occurring, resulting in paralysis of contraction. For muscles to contract, nerves release acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the neuromuscular junction where the axon endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to specific receptors located on the muscle cells which causes them to contract. By injecting Botox, it will block the release of the neurotransmitter and prevent muscle contraction.
Post-Treatment of Botox
Do not take Aspirin, Aspirin containing products, Advil, Aleve, multivitamins, or Vitamin E for one week before getting Botox treatment to prevent bleeding or bruising. After getting Botox injections, you may develop some minor swelling or bruising at the injection site . These side effects usually subside quickly. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Botox has been used safely and effectively for continuous amount of years. Clinical trials have been carried out for the cosmetic uses of Botox and have not shown serious adverse events.
Taking Arnica at least 1-2 weeks prior to getting Botox will help prevent bruising from occurring. In addition, it’s recommended to not bend over for at least 4 hours after getting Botox because it can migrate to other parts of the face causing muscle weakness in those areas. For this exact reason, exercising should not be performed for at least 24 hours after receiving the injections. Keep in mind that Botox does not have a systemic effect, meaning that it won’t migrate in other parts of the body. Make-up may be gently applied to the treated area immediately after the injections.
How long does Botox last?
You will begin to notice the effect of Botox in one week; the full effect should be noticeable in two weeks. Botulinum toxin injections normally last around 3 to 4 months – after this time period new nerve endings develop that are not affected by Botox. When these attach to the muscles, the muscles begin to contract, causing the wrinkles to slowly reappear. Once the frown lines start to reappear, a simple follow-up treatment is all that’s necessary to maintain the desired result.
Many patients that want to diminish their fine lines and wrinkles choose botulinum toxin therapy – it’s safe and effective. If this is your first time thinking about trying Botox, or any cosmetic treatments, always seek advice from a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green in NYC. She can help you with any concerns that you may have regarding treatment objectives, safety, and any other considerations. Find out more by contacting us online or calling 212-535-3088 today.