BOTOX Cosmetic, or Botulinum Toxin A, is a chemical (a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria) that relaxes the muscles that create wrinkles, thereby lessening the appearance of frown lines, forehead creases, and crow´s feet. Such wrinkles occur with overuse of certain facial muscles. Each patient´s facial movements and expressions are different, creating unique wrinkle patterns on the face. Emotions, such as anger and concentration, surprise, and joy are reflected by the action of certain facial muscles.
Over time these muscles of facial expression leave behind permanent etched-in lines and creases. In addition, squinting due to light sensitivity or visual difficulties requiring eyeglass correction, can lead to accentuation of certain facial lines and creases. When these overused muscles are relaxed with Botox, the lines slowly fill in as the collagen is allowed to remodel and rebuild the dermis beneath the crease. In this way, BOTOX Cosmetic attacks wrinkles at their source. If you develop a frown line, putting an injectable material like Collagen or Restylane in to fill that line is not as effective as using BOTOX to actually stop the frowning. Many times the filler is not even necessary, since Botox often gives excellent correction of these dynamic motion lines. With BOTOX, the negative image of frowning is stopped and the lines created by frowning are improved. The same applies to forehead lines and crows´ feet. By stopping the cause of wrinkles you help to prevent them from returning or worsening. BOTOX is extraordinarily safe. Side effects are minimal and rare. These can include swelling at the injection sites, occasional headache, bruising, and the pinprick discomfort of the needle injection itself. Ice packs are used before and after the injection procedure to minimize bruising, swelling, and pain. Patients can apply a topical anesthetic (numbing) cream 30-60 minutes prior to the procedure, but this is usually not necessary. The procedure itself takes several minutes and the down time is negligible. Effects are noticed within 7-10 days and last for 3-4 months or longer after multiple treatments. The degree of patient satisfaction is overwhelmingly high. BOTOX has become an integral part of the practice of cosmetic dermatology. It has replaced more invasive surgical procedures because of its predictable effects with decreased risk and down time compared to previously used surgical interventions.
Botox is FDA-approved for injection into the glabellar frown lines. It is widely used for forehead wrinkles and crow´s feet as well. It is safest and most effective when used on the upper face. It is not used to treat nasolabial folds (creases that extend from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). Some physicians are using Botox around the mouth for smoker´s lines, on the chin, and in the neck area. Because results on the lower face and neck are more variable and more risk-associated, we do not use Botox in these areas at the present time.
Although the effect lasts a variable amount of time (from 3-6 months in most cases), it is a safe and virtually pain-free treatment for these unsightly creases. This is one of the most popular and frequently performed cosmetic procedures done by Dr. Ruth Treiber in our office.
THE HISTORY OF BOTOX
In the1970´s ophthalmologists began injecting botulium toxin into tiny eye muscles to treat "lazy eye". In the 1980´s, the drug was used to correct other facial, eyelid and limb disorders such as tremors and spasms. It was during a procedure in the late 1980´s that the cosmetic benefit was first noticed. A patient was injected for eye spasms and it became apparent that their frown lines had notably diminished. The cosmetic use of Botox was researched and published in the early 1990´s.