Botox® is an agent taken from the bacterium, Clostridium Botulinum, or also known as Botulinum Toxin Type A, and is used in therapeutic treatments. This agent was initially intended to treat eye spasms and misalignment of the eyes as it contains cosmetic applications. The FDA has approved Botox® for use as a cosmetic product to improve one's looks. It can reduce the fine lines that develop around a person's eyes, as well as the superficial wrinkles found between the eyebrows. Wrinkles can form on a person's face from everyday actions such as frowning, smiling, or squinting, and Botox has proven effective in removing these types of wrinkles.
How Botox® Works
Your brain typically sends electrical messages to your muscles, which is how they can move and contract. With the use of Botulinum Toxin A, there is a release of acetylcholine in your system so that the muscle does not receive the message telling it to contract. In effect, when the muscle responsible for spasms or movements that cause wrinkles are told to stop, you get less or reduced wrinkling of your facial skin. Patients who have received these treatments often refer to the sensation as being temporarily paralyzed.
Where are Botox® Treatments Effective?
If you suffer from intense sweating known as hyperhidrosis, you can use Botox® treatments to block the release of acetylcholine near your sweat glands. In areas, such as under your arms, behind your knees, or the palms of your hands, an injection will block this release. These areas are where your sweat glands are located, and by blocking the release of acetylcholine near these glands, sweating is reduced or stopped.
Brows - An injection in the outer area of your brows can cause a lifting effect. This lifting effect will treat the frown lines that can develop in between your eyebrows. The injections will relax the underlying muscles and smooth your skin on the outside while relaxing the muscles in between your brows.
Forehead lines - A Botox® treatment is perhaps the most effective measure to treat forehead wrinkles. It will stop your muscle from contracting and get rid of the crease. Sun exposure and age will cause this muscle to contract and form lines; a treatment will soften and relax them.
Frown lines - A treatment will temporarily disable your facial muscles that are the cause for frown lines or crow's feet. It will directly block the nerves in this area of your face that are telling your muscles to contract.
Bunny lines - Overuse of your nasalis muscle will create what is known as bunny lines. They will appear if you continually scrunch up your nose when you smile deeply or laugh. These lines typically appear along the side of the nose, reaching up to your eyes. A treatment will relax those muscles, which will remove the lines and wrinkles.
Smoker's lines - A person doesn't have to be a smoker to develop lines around their mouth. It is often attributed to this habit but is not always the cause. The vertical wrinkles, which appear on the lips, can also be a result of age. A treatment will block the nerves in this area, so the lines overlying the skin are not constantly reinforced.
Typically what is known as smoker's lines are treated with a combination of Botox® and a dermal filler such as Restylane. The filler will help to plump up the skin and reduce the wrinkles, and the Botox® treatment will relax and further smoothen the skin.
Marionette lines - A treatment will reduce the movement of your muscles around your mouth. It will also relax the muscle, which results in marionette lines that are what pulls your mouth in a downward position. A treatment blocks the nerve impulses and reduces the activity, causing these unwanted wrinkles.
Chin dents - Botox® treatments are used to address creases, wrinkles, and other conditions that affect your chin. A treatment will relax your chin muscles and allow your overlying skin to smoothen. Some cases will also require a chin filler, and will depend on the severity of your dent.
Vertical platysma bands - Vertical platysma bands are caused by the activity of your platysma muscle in your neck. As you age, the connective tissue which supports the muscle will weaken and lose elasticity. A Botox® treatment in the area under your neck will relax the muscle and tighten the lower area. This tightening will allow the upper area and your face to remain relaxed. Treatments are done by injections with a micro-needle into the targeted muscle. Typically one to three injections are put into each muscle being treated. It presents very little pain or discomfort, and results are visible within a few hours following treatment.
The effects of Botox treatments will last approximately three months, and when they begin to wear off, it is a gradual process. There have been no reported risks, complications, or contraindications associated with these treatments, and they can be repeated indefinitely.