What is Botox?

What Is Botox® and How Is It Used?

Today, Botox® injection has become one of the most well-known beauty treatments and one of the most preferred methods used by many men and women who want to correct the wrinkles that come with age. But what is Botox®?


What is Botox®?

Botox® is the trade name for botulinum toxin type A. It is derived from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which is found inactively in the natural environment, which includes forests, cultivated soils, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal waters, and untreated waters.

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, Botox® can be used in cosmetics very safely and with good results. It is mainly used to make wrinkles and frown lines that appear with age disappear from the face. This is achieved through injections, which blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing the wrinkles to relax and soften.


How Botox® works for wrinkles

Botox® is mainly used to remove those wrinkles acquired as the skin ages. This result is achieved by injecting the serum into certain muscles that are responsible for wrinkles. Once Botox® reaches a nerve end, it blocks acetylcholine, the chemical responsible for initiating muscle contractions. That’s because botulinum toxins chase down proteins that release acetylcholine.

When Botox® is administered to the muscles around wrinkles and fine lines, those muscles relax and stop moving. Once they are relaxed, the appearance of wrinkles and lines will be smoothed out. Botox® is most often used and is approved to treat vertical eyebrow lines, known as glabellar wrinkles, and also to remove crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles. Although the procedure is quick and easy, the full effects of Botox® take between 7 and 10 days to be seen.

Keep in mind, this anti-wrinkle effect of Botox® is only temporary. It only lasts for four to six months and cannot correct the damage caused by the sun. After these months have passed, the person will have to receive a new injection to keep their skin stretched and wrinkle-free.

Botox® injection to remove wrinkles is a simple and very safe treatment. It only takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. Botox® is injected with a fine needle, causing minimal discomfort. Generally, it takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is recommended to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment.


Botox® for migraines

Even though Botox® is best known for its ability to reduce facial wrinkles, it has also been shown to be of great help in preventing chronic migraines in some people and it has met FDA approval. Treatment for chronic migraines is generally carried out for patients who suffer headaches for more than fifteen days a month. It is normally administered every three months and its effects last between two to two and a half months.

Using Botox® for chronic migraine headaches every three months is the national standard according to the American Headache Society


How does it work?

This treatment for headaches consists mainly of injecting Botox® into the muscles of the forehead, scalp, neck, and shoulders. Doctors believe Botox® works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that relay pain signals from the brain. Botox® acts as an obstacle on that path to stop the chemicals before they reach the nerve endings around the head and neck. However, the pain does not disappear permanently. After a few months, the headaches tend to reappear.

In some cases, Botox® is usually all that is needed to keep chronic headaches under control, although some people require more medications or other treatments to prevent their migraine attacks. This is usually observed during the last two weeks of the Botox® cycle because Botox® loses its affects during this time. Some of the migraine medications prescribed may include anticonvulsants, some antidepressants, cardiovascular medications such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, and other migraine medications.
Side effects

The most common side effects of Botox® injections include neck pain, headache, and swelling or bruising at the injection site. Allergic reaction to Botox® is also possible. The most common signs of an immediate allergic reaction to Botox® may be hives, shortness of breath, and swelling in the lower legs.

There is also a risk that the botulinum toxin can spread to the surrounding tissues and cause problems such as misplaced eyebrows, excess tears, dry eyes or eyelid drooping. Eyelid drooping is usually more common in people very sensitive to botulinum toxin or people who already have a droopy eyelid. By changing the injections to a slightly different site, in some cases, this side effect can be reduced.

The worst case is that botulinum toxin could spread to other parts of the body causing more serious problems such as vision problems, difficulty speaking, breathing, or swallowing. Doctors do not recommend the use of Botox® in women who are breastfeeding or who are pregnant. The side effects of the toxin in a fetus are not known. However, thousands of chronic migraine patients have been treated effectively and safely.

Botox® should always be applied under the care of an experienced doctor because it can be very dangerous if administered incorrectly.

Botox® for brow lift

The passage of time takes its toll on the face. To combat this, one of the revealing “new youth” aesthetic medical treatments is the brow lift. With age, the eyebrow tends to sag, giving a sad and tired look. This brow lift, when performed by experts, is very safe and has incredible results that will make you look much younger. The elevation of the eyebrows is carried out through the infiltration of botulinum toxin (known by its trade name Botox®) into the forehead above the brow.


How it is performed?

Modifying the shape of the eyebrows with Botox® is a procedure that requires a great understanding of the function of the muscles that raise the brows. To shape the eyebrows with Botox®, the treatment must be accompanied by treatments on other areas of the face such as the forehead.

The smallest doses of Botox® are injected above the lateral aspect of the eyebrows, thereby opening up the eye. Additional injections can be placed at the end of the brows to relax the eye muscles. This causes the forehead muscles to pull up that area as well. This medicine is not a substitute for surgery, but in young people, it has excellent results in preserving the skin and slowing down the aging process.

The eyebrow lift is also performed in the office with a very fine, sterile needle after applying an anesthetic cream or local anesthetic spray. After a few seconds, when the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor determines and marks the areas to be treated according to the muscle structure. Botox® injection does not require an allergy test or previous preparations and is done superficially.

The procedure is completely safe and it lasts no more than twenty minutes with minimal or no discomfort. After the application, the patient can return to their normal routine without any impediment. Keep in mind, it is important to mention that after administering Botox®, you should not lie down or exercise for four hours.

The treatment of eyebrow-raising with botulinum toxin has a high satisfaction rating among those who have used it since the effect is very successful and safe.  The full effect of the treatment is seen after 48 hours, although a large part of the results is observed within a few hours after treatment. Like the results from using Botox® for wrinkles, this also lasts from four to six months.

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