Botox is the trade name for an injectable agent currently used for the treatment of wrinkles. The concept behind Botox is totally different from the technique of “filling” the wrinkle with a tissue-filling agent such as Collagen or Restylane. Botox is a muscle-paralyzing agent, which it is derived and purified from the Clostridium Botulinum Bacteria. The injection does not use or involve bacteria, only the neurotoxin it produces.
Botox interferes with the way the nerve, carrying impulses from the brain, communicates with the muscle. Thus the treated muscle cannot contract, no matter how hard one tries. If the muscle cannot contract then the skin cannot fold causing the dynamic wrinkles we see on our forehead when we frown and at the corners of our eyes when we squint. Botox does not injure the nerve or the muscle. It only causes a temporary paralysis, which will last from three to six months. The treatment consists of small injections into the muscle to be treated (usually on the forehead for the scowl lines or forehead creases, and the squint lines). There is no recovery period for this procedure, but usually takes 2-3 days to become effective.
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What Does Botox® Treat?
Botox® treats dynamic wrinkles, those little annoyances known as frown lines, worry lines, laugh lines and crow’s feet. Botox® blocks the chemicals that normally signal these muscle groups to contract. By not contracting the muscles are allowed to relax and your dynamic wrinkles begin to smooth away.
Botox® smoothes, flattens and relaxes:
- Horizontal creases on the forehead
- Vertical creases between the eyes (the glabella area)
- Wrinkles on the temple side of the eyes, the “crow’s feet”
- Wrinkles on the sides of the nose, “bunny lines”
- Wrinkles on the upper lip, pursed lips
- Vertical cords on the neck
Botox® is also used in a variety of medical conditions, including treatment of migraine and tension headache, chronic muscular pain, abnormal facial movements, tremors, and excessive sweating of the palms, soles of the feet and underarms.