Every time we smile, look angry or frown, the muscles that sit directly under the skin contract and create numerous lines on our faces. Many people find that these lines are still visible even when they are not smiling or frowning. This can make us look older than we really are. Furthermore, other people may often also think that we are angry or worried even though we are not. Botox can provide a solution for these types of fine lines and wrinkles.
Botox ( botulinum toxin type A) is a liquid injection that reduces muscle overactivity.
Botox was initially developed to treat overactive muscles in and around the eye, for example, in cases of uncontrolled blinking and strabismus (lazy eye). Given that Botox can also block the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles that are responsible for facial expressions, it is also a suitable treatment for lines and wrinkles. Botox relaxes the muscles so that they can no longer contract. After the procedure, your skin rapidly becomes smooth and free of wrinkles. Muscles that have not been treated with Botox continue to work as normal.
Botulinum toxin binds to the nerve. (brown = the nerve; yellow = muscle nerve receptor; pink = muscle)
Botulinum toxin attaches itself to the nerve.
Botulinum toxin blocks the nerve impulse towards the muscle.
Botox injections have been used for over ten years now in the treatment of numerous ophthalmological and neurological conditions. Every year, thousands of patients are treated with Botox for a whole range of conditions. Botox injections only have a local effect. In recent years Botox has become increasingly popular as a treatment for visible signs of facial aging.
The most common side effects are haematomas (bruises) at the point of injection, but these are actually highly rare. For this reason it is recommended that you do not take aspirin or any other anticoagulants for seven days before the injection.
In a very select few cases, the toxin may spread and cause neighbouring muscles to go to sleep. In rare cases this can cause drooping eyelid (ptosis) or facial asymmetry. The risk of complications depends on which muscles are injected. Given that the effects of Botox are fully reversible, these complications are only temporary. Typically, they only last for a few weeks.
Rare complications: drooping upper eyelids (ptosis). This problem disappears of its own accord after a few weeks.
Cosmetic “denervation” using Botox is a simple and safe procedure. A micro-needle is used to inject very small amounts of Botox into different areas of your face depending on where you want to reduce your wrinkles. As the needle is so fine, and as only a very small amount of liquid is injected, only minimal pain is felt. Sedatives and anaesthesia are not necessary, so you will be able to get on with your daily activities immediately afterwards. You can even return home or go back to work by car immediately after the treatment.
Injection sites for forehead wrinkles.
If expression wrinkles make you look older than you really are, cosmetic denervation smoothes them out, making you appear younger, more relaxed and more attractive. However, your normal facial expression will not be affected. The effects of the treatment will be visible within 3 to 10 days and will last for approximately 3 to 6 months. Botox treatment is not suitable if your wrinkles have been caused by sun exposure or damage, as these types of lines are not caused by subcutaneous muscle action.
Botox injections are only a temporary solution for wrinkles caused by muscle contractions. The effect lasts for approximately 3 to 6 weeks, meaning that between 2 and 4 injections are required each year. Clinical studies show that the effect often lasts for longer following repeated injections. In the future it is therefore likely that you would need fewer injections.
Only wrinkles caused by subcutaneous muscle contractions can be treated with Botox. Fine lines that have developed in skin that is becoming slacker, or in skin that has been frequently exposed to the sun, do not respond to treatment with Botox. Your specialist will be able to explain all aspects of Botox treatment to you, and will decide whether it is a suitable treatment for your wrinkles.
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