What is Botox?
Botox is the trade name of Botulinum Toxin Type A, a purified toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In large amounts, this toxin blocks the nerve impulses to muscles, causing a form of paralysis called botulism.
When does Botox start to work and how long does it last?
The results of Botox treatment start to appear in three to ten days. The treated muscles will gradually regain their action over three to five months. When the frown line starts to reappear, a simple repeat treatment is all that is necessary to maintain the desired results.
What are the other uses of Botox?
Botox has also been shown to soften and reduce crows feet and forehead wrinkles. Botox can reduce the appearance of some lines that are caused by other hyperfunctional facial muscles such as nose creases, neck lines and neck bands. Botox can dramatically reduce excessive sweating from the armpits.
Who can perform Botox treatment?
Botox therapy should only be performed under the direction of a physician experienced and trained in the use of Botox.
Has Botox been tested?
Botox has been used since 1980 for the treatment of strabismus (lazy eye), and blepharospasm(uncontrolled eye blinking). Botox has been used for hyperfunctional facial lines since 1989. Major reviews of Botox therapy have been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (1996; 34: 788-97), and Dermatologic Surgery (1998; 24: 1168-1254).
As with any injection there can be temporary pain, swelling, redness, bruising, headache or local discomfort. The side effects are mainly related to the effect of Botox on local muscles. Rarely, patients have been reported to develop a slight lowering of an eyelid (ptosis), or slight lowering of the forehead. This is temporary, and resolves in a few weeks. Some patients may have an uneven or incomplete response to treatment. Botox does reduce the action of the muscles of facial expression. Patients with neuromuscular disorder should inform their doctor before therapy. Botox therapy should not be administered during pregnancy.
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