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How does Botox Work for Wrinkles?

Cosmetic Clinic Dubai | 8 January 2020

Botulinum toxin anti-wrinkle injections work by relaxing the facial muscles responsible for wrinkles. When used appropriately, botulinum toxin is a great solution for reducing the appearance of wrinkles around the face. In particular, it is highly effective in the lip, forehead and eye areas. I always undertake a detailed medical consultation to assess your general health and requirements. After which, if it is deemed safe and appropriate then I can offer botulinum toxin anti-wrinkle injections as a treatment.

Procedure Preparation

In preparation for botulinum toxin treatment, or any injectable procedure, bruising can be minimized by discontinuing aspirin and any medication or dietary supplement that has anticoagulant effects two weeks before treatment.

Aftercare

Patients are advised to avoid lying supine following treatment for four hours. They are also advised to avoid massaging or applying heat to the treatment area, and to avoid activities that cause flushing (such as exercising heavily, consuming alcohol, and hot tub use) on the day of treatment. 

Results and Follow-Up

Partial reduction in function of the targeted glabellar complex muscles is seen by the third day after botulinum toxin injection, with maximal reduction visible two weeks after injection. Return of muscle function is gradual, typically three to four months after treatment. Subsequent treatment is advised when muscle contraction is visible in the treatment area before facial lines return to their pretreatment appearance. After multiple treatments, botulinum toxin effects may be prolonged and, for some patients, treatment intervals can be extended beyond three to four months.

What are botulinum toxin injections used for?

Botulinum toxin injections are most commonly used for:

Frown Lines  

Lines around the eyes (crow’s feet)

Horizontal forehead lines

Nasal scrunch or squint lines

Lines on neck

Botulinum toxin is also used in small amounts in a number of other areas on the face depending on the way your muscles of facial expression work. It can raise the outer part of the eyebrow if it is sagging, lift the corners of the mouth, and help to smooth out dimpled or cobblestoned chins. Generally it is not used in the lines around the mouth, usually because it might be difficult to speak and eat. 

What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin is an injected liquid used to treat frown lines, squint and smile lines, nasal crunch lines, and horizontal forehead wrinkles. By relaxing the underlying muscles, these lines become less deep.

Botulinum toxin has been used to treat thousands of patients medically and cosmetically over 20 years. Botulinum toxin is produced in a lab by a bacterium called “Clostridium botulinum”. It has been purified under very strict controlled conditions. The Botox brand of botulinum toxin is made by Allergan, a company with a twenty-year history of making this product safely.

When injected into a small facial muscle, it doesn’t travel anywhere else in the body. It gradually wears off naturally over a 3-6 month period.  There are other forms of botulinum toxin now being produced by other companies. 

How long do the effects of botulinum toxin last?

Most patients find that the effects of botulinum toxin injections last approximately 3-6 month . Most of my patients come 3-4 times the first year and then 2-3 times a year after that. After the muscles have been relaxed for a while, it takes less to maintain that relaxation. But every patient is an individual, and there is no knowing exactly how you will respond.

How long does botulinum toxin take to work?

The effects are may be first noticed in 72 hours but it may take up to 7 days to maximize the effect. You may be asked to return after the first treatment so that I can assess your response. The first set of botulinum toxin injections may only give a partial response. This is common and complete relaxation may be noticed after the second or third treatment.

Do botulinum toxin injections hurt?

Botulinum toxin is injected with a very small needle (like an acupuncture needle), so it causes very little pain upon injection. Botulinum toxin does not cause irritation or inflammation. Occasionally, patients have noticed that there is a mild stinging sensation.

Are there any people who should not receive botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin injections should not be given to pregnant women, nursing mothers, or patients with neuromuscular diseases like myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), or motor neuropathy should not use botulinum toxin. Patients who are allergic to human albumin (different than an egg allergy) should not use botulinum toxin. It is not recommended in pregnancy or nursing because it has not been tested.

Are there any medical side effects?

Side effects include bruising, eyebrow or eyelid droops, and a temporary headache, and rare flu-like symptoms have been reported. Many of the side effects that are listed for botulinum toxin are seen when large amounts are injected for medical purposes as opposed to the small amounts used for cosmetic purposes. Very rare allergic reactions have been reported.

Cosmetic side effects of botulinum toxin?

We’ve all seen these – and with celebrities too frequently. Basically, these problems are due to either a inexpert injector or a patient who insists on this look despite all evidence that it looks bad! With an expert, experienced doctor or nurse injecting, these potential problems should be rare or nonexistent.

Does Botox interact with other drugs?

Very rarely. It is always important to let me know if you are taking other drugs.

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