Practical information on BOTOX
3 December 2019 onur
Beauty and skin care products change in time. Trends change, seasons change, and the roles celebrities play in commercials change. However, some products find a way to stand the test of time.
BOTOX is one of them.
The toxin of the germ that causes can poisoning was isolated and reproduced in the laboratory setting and was found to temporarily paralyze human muscles. It was first used for the treatment of involuntary muscle spasms. In 1987, Dr. Jean Carruthers was having a follow-up appointment and chatting with a patient whom she gave injections to stop involuntary muscle spasms in the eyes caused by a condition called blepharospasm. The patient was highly satisfied with the toxin injections, saying that not only the spasms were over but also her wrinkles had disappeared. This discovery has changed the outlook of the anti-aging and cosmetic dermatology industry. The popularity of BOTOX as an anti-aging treatment skyrocketed following its approval for cosmetic use in 1993, and BOTOX has since grown into a billion-dollar industry.
- BOTOX functions by blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles, thus causing the muscle to stop contracting, which forces the skin on it to relax and soften and eliminates the wrinkles caused by muscle contraction.
- BOTOX is safe as long as it is administered by a doctor who can determine the required amount, have thorough knowledge of the muscle anatomy around the eyes and understand the aging-related changes.
- BOTOX makes a long-lasting but temporary effect. Repeating injections as soon as the wrinkles reappear ensures continued effect.
- Because BOTOX is a toxin, some people may develop antibodies to the toxin and the drug may become less effective with repeated injections. In that case, your doctor will discuss alternatives and options with you.
- Wrinkles formed by gravity or sun damage do not respond to BOTOX. For such wrinkles, it may be necessary to apply surgical treatment, fillers and more targeted treatments such as laser skin resurfacing.
- The effect of BOTOX typically lasts up to 3-6 months. Once the effect wears off, your face will return to its pre-injection state, which means the wrinkles will come back. If you want a permanent BOTOX effect, the treatment will need to be repeated every 3-6 months.
- Following proper administration, effects typically occur within 2-4 days after injection. Maximum benefit is observed around day 14. Although bruising from needles is very rare, minuscule purple dots may sometimes occur but will disappear in about a week.
- You may have heard that the more BOTOX injections you get, the less you will need. This is one of the most popular discussion points among doctors and nurses in the industry. This statement is based on the assumption that unused muscles will atrophy. On the other hand, the atrophy of the muscles does not maintain the youthful appearance in a face. Patients who have had facial paralysis have fewer wrinkles on the paralyzed side of the face, but because the muscle strength of the face is reduced, the face sags much earlier and ultimately looks older. Therefore, while performing a BOTOX application, it is important to reduce the hyperactivity in the muscles but not render them completely paralyzed.
- It is not possible to talk about an ideal age for BOTOX. After all, BOTOX is a drug and should only be used in cases where the drug will offer an effective treatment for that specific condition. In other words, you do not automatically become a BOTOX candidate just because you are 40 years old. The ideal candidates for BOTOX are patients who have not yet had changes due to gravity and surface aging but still have dynamic wrinkles connected with hyperactive mimic muscles that have become visible enough to impair the patient’s appearance. In my practice, only 20% of patients who see me for BOTOX are truly ideal patients for BOTOX. I politely refer the remaining 80% to other treatment options.
- In men, mimic wrinkles give the face a character, a look of experience, a firm appearance, that is, a masculine tone. I think that BOTOX application in male patients diminishes male attractiveness and charisma even if it removes wrinkles, and I apply BOTOX to male patients in very, very rare cases, provided that they fully satisfy the indications.
- It is also possible for you to suffer temporary damage from BOTOX. If the injection is given to the wrong place, an undesired paralysis of the mimic muscles may occur. Such paralysis can impair your smile, speech and facial expression. A drooping of your eyelids or eyebrows may occur, possibly causing aesthetic problems.
- BOTOX injection is a slightly painful procedure. The drug is administered into the muscles with very fine needles. Surface anesthesia, sensory re-routing, atraumatic technique and the diameter of the fine needle take the comfort in BOTOX applications to very reasonable levels.
- After the injections, it is recommended to avoid make-up, massage and high temperature environments such as hot shower, jacuzzi and sauna for a few days. If you feel like you have droopy eyelids or squinting in one of your eyes after the application, you should contact your doctor immediately.