FINE LINE REDUCTION WITH
Botox® Boctacure ® Azzalure ® are the trade names for Botulinum toxin, produced by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. Several types have been identified, but type A, which is used commercially, is the most potent.
Botulinum toxin acts by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that is responsible for transmitting electrical impulses that cause muscle contraction. This results in the muscle being paralysed. The resulting paralysis however, is temporary, as the new growth of nerves will re-innervate the muscles. Botulinum toxin was first used in 1978 to weaken over active muscles in the eye and is now used to treat a plethora of other medical conditions all over the body. Botulinum toxin was first used cosmetically in 1990, to reduce facial wrinkles arising from muscle contraction.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does the procedure involve?
Botulinum toxin is injected directly into the muscles that cause the wrinkles, using a very small needle. Several injections are usually needed at specific sites, depending on the area treated. When used to treat excessive sweating in the armpits hands or feet, Botulinum toxin is injected directed into the skin. Localised discomfort and bruises can occur, but no sedation or local anaesthesia is generally required. Normal activities can be resumed almost immediately.
What are the results?
Botulinum toxin can start taking effect 24-72 hours after injection however; the maximum effect is normally seen at 2 weeks. Its effects generally last for approximately 3-4 months. When injected into the muscles that are responsible for expression wrinkles, it gives the face a more relaxed and smoother appearance. Sometimes longer lasting effects (6-9 months) are seen after treatment of excessive sweating. When a gradual fading of treatment effect is noticed you may return to have another treatment.
What are the limitations?
Whilst Botulinum toxin can be very effective in reducing wrinkles due to muscle contractions, it has little to no effect in reducing the fine lines on the face caused by sun damage, and lines due to sagging of facial skin.
In those patients with very heavy lines, repeated treatments may be needed for maximum effect.
What are the contraindications for treatment?
The use of Botulinum toxin is contraindicated in people with neuromuscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis, those who are taking certain muscle relaxants and some antimicrobial medication such as aminoglycosides (Gentamicin), pregnant or breast feeding women, those with infection or inflammation at the proposed site of injections.
Caution to treatment is needed for clients with bleeding disorders or, those taking any medication that 'thins the blood'. This will be discussed with you at your consultation.
What are the risks?
No severe complications after cosmetic use of Botulinum toxin have been reported in the literature. Very rarely excessive weakening of the target muscles and paralysis of adjacent muscles can occur, resulting in facial weakness. This is self-limiting and will resolve. When injecting above the eyebrows, upper eyelid 'ptosis' or slight drooping may occur. This can be corrected with eyedrops but will also improve as the effects of the Botulinum toxin wears off.
Source: "Botulinum Toxin Injections." Botulinum Toxin Injections. British Association of Plastic Surgeons, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.