BOTOX COSMETIC™ – Part 1
Botox® is something that we hear a lot about these days, but what is it really?
Botox® is a protein which is created from a bacteria – much like penicillin is made. The protein is injected into different areas of the body to produce localized muscle relaxation. For 20 years, the protein was used for problems like cerebral palsy, chronic muscular pain, vocal cord dysfunction and visual disturbances.
About 10 years ago, a Canadian ophthalmologist by the name of Carruthers made the discovery that Botox® could be used to decrease wrinkles. He noticed that when Botox® was used for tension headaches, for instance, the lines in the forehead and between the eyes disappeared. From there, they perfected their technique and started to teach it to others.
These days, Botox® is used in several areas of the face in addition to those on the forehead. It can be used for “bunny lines” on the nose, crow’s feet, neck lines and the droopy lines that can occur at the sides of the mouth. In addition, it is used safely to treat hyperhydrosis – which is the condition of excessive sweating in the armpits or hands.
Many people are concerned that they will look “frozen” after a Botox® treatment. That should never happen with good injections. The goal is to produce a look that is well-rested and relaxed. Many people look 5 years younger after treatment.
Other people worry about side-effects. They are generally mild, if they happen at all. Most patients can walk out of the office and return to work within 20 minutes, without anyone noticing a difference.
The trick is to find a practitioner with whom you can feel comfortable with – one who listens to the objective that YOU wish to achieve. He or she should ideally have experience with the product, several years of experience injecting, and be willing to provide a thorough initial consultation before treatment is undertaken.
Once initial treatments are started, the effects last longer and longer. Many lines that were starting to become permanent will completely disappear. Others will soften.
So, really Botox® is a safe way to look and feel a little younger and more comfortable that just might be worth a try!
BOTOX COSMETIC™ – Part 2
Botox® is a form of purified protein which has been used worldwide for over 20 years. Originally, it was processed commercially for medical use including muscular problems involving the eyes, larynx and legs. Over time, it was discovered that Botox® in small amounts has an excellent effect on facial expression. It is now used successfully for fine lines, wrinkles and deep forehead lines. Botox® has been approved in Canada for cosmetic use since 2001.
The medication works by blocking a chemical release between the peripheral nerves and the affected muscles. When the muscles can no longer contract, the skin overlying the muscle becomes flat and lines in the face diminish.
Because Botox® is not permanent, treatments may need to be repeated at 4-6 month intervals to assure a long-lasting result. Over time, the treated muscles lose their strength and the results may become permanent.
Most people see results with Botox® within 3-5 days. Ninety percent (90%) of patients injected will have moderate to excellent results, 5% will have fair results, and <5% will have no response at all to Botox® injections. Sometimes, adjustments to the dose need to be made in order to achieve optimal results.
If you have a neuromuscular disorder, such as myasthenia gravis or multiple sclerosis, or any other serious medical condition, please bring it to our attention as you may not be a good candidate for Botox® therapy. Botox® is not used when a woman is pregnant.
Botox® is safe. Side effects are rare. Some people experience mild bruising, headache and transient numbness. On rare occasions (2%), a drooping of the eyelid can occur. Fortunately, even if some drooping occurs, it is not permanent as the medication wears off in 4-6 months. When the lower face is injected, occasionally drooping of the mouth can occur