Botulinum toxin A is a protein obtained from a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Please note that it is not snake poison. Botulinum toxin A is a neurotoxin, which blocks conduction from nerves to muscles or perspiratory glands, thereby weakening the mimic muscles or stopping the impulses that activate perspiratory glands to stop perspiration. Botulinum toxin A is commercially available as Botox®.
Botulinum toxin A is a safe product that received FDA approval in the USA. Every year, millions of applications are performed. It is a product that is rather effective in reducing wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. It is the most frequently performed minimally invasive esthetic intervention worldwide.
What are the areas of application for this treatment?
The most frequent areas of application include: eye contour wrinkles, lip contour wrinkles, neck lines and treatment for hyperhidrosis. It should also be noted migraine and tension-type headaches are also significantly relieved and even disappear in many patients that receive Botulinum toxin A treatment for esthetic purposes.
What is the suitable age to start this treatment?
It is possible to perform treatment for wrinkles using Botulinum toxin A as of the age 25 until much later ages in life.
What is its method of application?
A cream with a topical anesthetic effect is smeared on areas where Botulinum toxin A is to be applied before the treatment followed by a waiting period of about 30 minutes. After the points of application are identified, injection is performed at the required doses. Botulinum toxin A generally begins to manifest its effects 3-4 days after application. Its full effect becomes visible one week later. If the eyebrows seem to have raised higher than wanted, a minor asymmetry seems to have occurred between two eyebrows or the wrinkles do not seem as smoothened on days four to seven, a second injection may be done.
How long does the effect last?
The effect of Botulinum toxin A lasts for 4-6 months. This period may be shorter in some people while longer in other people. The period is more related to the way in which the medicine is metabolized in the body than the dose of administration.
It is sufficient not to lie down and not to massage the administration sites until four hours after the Botulinum toxin A is administered.
Would I have any problems?
It is possible to encounter certain undesired effects following Botulinum toxin A administrations, albeit rarely. They include sensitivity, redness and allergic reactions that are discomforting for the patient in the early period. The most frequent side effects are the tiny bruises that occur at the point where the injector tip is inserted into the skin. These disappear over time by themselves. To accelerate the disappearance of bruises, creams can also be used.
Appearance of asymmetry following the administration of Botulinum toxin may be more often due to failure to be watchful about a previously present asymmetry and failure to be attentive to the injection sites. Generally speaking, they can be corrected via additional injections one week after the administration.
Drooping of the eyelid (ptosis) following the administration of Botulinum toxin A: It is a rather rare condition. The possibility of occurrence is decreased in inverse proportion to experience in administration. It is also possible to see this result occasionally when the administration is made very frequently and at high doses. It generally disappears over time by itself. Sometimes, special drops may aid in alleviating the drooping of the eyelid.
Would my face become worse once the effect is over?
There is a misconception that the wrinkles will become more once the effect of Botulinum toxin administration is over. The face does not appear more wrinkled once the effect is over; it only goes back to its previous status. In continuous administrations, a longer-term effect can be seen since the weakened muscles would be eroded.