What is Botox?
Botox is the trade name of a purified bacterial product called botulinum toxin. It can be injected into muscles and blocks the transmission between the motor nerves that control muscle contraction.
The science behind Botox
Muscles are able to contract due to signals from nerves; botulinum toxin works by blocking these signals between nerves and muscles at the area they meet called the neuromuscular junction. Nerves release a chemical called acetylcholine; muscle contraction can only occur in the presence of this chemical. Botox prevents the release of acetylcholine into the neuromuscular junction, rendering the muscle unable to contract and leaves the muscle paralysed.
Use of the muscles of facial expression over time results in the formation of deep frown lines, forehead lines and crows feet. By injecting small doses of botulinum toxin into these muscles of facial expression, these muscles are temporarily paralysed, giving the face a more relaxed and smoother appearance. Moreover, as Botox only effects motor nerves, not the sensory nerves responsible for sensation, patients will not experience loss of feeling in any of the areas treated with Botox.
What can cosmetic Botox be used for?
Botox can be injected into any muscle whose contraction causes a wrinkle occur in the overlying skin. The most common areas for cosmetic Botox treatment are:
⦁ Frown lines between the eye brows
⦁ Crows Feet (wrinkles around the corners of the eyes)
What the procedure involves?
Botox treatment will be administered by a specialist dentist with extensive training in non-surgical dermatological procedures. The treatment is injected directly into wrinkles using a very fine needle; consequently, patients should only experience mild and temporary discomfort. Treatment should take no longer than 10 minutes and during this time expected results and post treatment instructions will be given.
How long does it take for botox to work?
The effects of botox will begin to become visible within 2 to 3 days, with maximum effect being reached after 1 to 2 weeks. The effect of treatment generally lasts 3 to 4 months, at which time re-treatment will be required.
Is Botox safe?
Despite popular belief that Botox treatment is a new medical advancement Botox has in fact been used since the 1970’s to treat various conditions caused by excessive muscle contraction. These conditions include hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and dystonia (a condition typified by involuntary movements). Therefore, due to the extensive and prolonged use of Botox a variety of studies have been able to prove that Botox is remarkably safe and toxicity is mild.
Botox treatment is generally a safe and effective procedure. However, as with all treatments potential side effects do exist. These include pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding and bruising. Other possible side effects are dryness of the eyes, dry mouth and muscle atrophy. However, by choosing a specialist trained practitioner the likelihood of these side effects will be significantly reduced.
Benefits of Botox
The key benefits of Botox are providing the face with a younger, smoother and rejuvenated appearance with many patients claiming it takes years away from their appearance! Moreover, benefits surpass that of improving a patient’s appearance with many individuals reporting significant improvement in their self-esteem and psychological well-being.