Botox® is a very dilute solution of a highly purified protein called botulinum toxin. It is administered just under the skin into overactive facial muscles. Botox® interrupts the signal between the nerve and muscle responsible for furrows and wrinkles of the face. It is especially useful for forehead lines, glabella (between the eyebrows), frown lines around the mouth, and crow`s feet wrinkles of the eyes. Botox® can only treat wrinkles caused by muscle contraction. It does not treat lines caused by sun damage or aging. Other rejuvenation treatments are available for areas that will not respond to Botox.
Generally within two to seven days, patients see softening or elimination of the lines and notice relaxation of the muscles. In some cases, the full effect of Botox typically occurs at 2 weeks. Improvement typically lasts for three to four months and even longer in some patients. Results are variable and depend on the patient. Botox® can safely be repeated every three to six months to achieve the desired results.
In addition, Botox® can be used to treat excessive sweating of the axilla (underarms), hands, and feet. Injection of Botox into these areas interrupts the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands to produce sweat. The effects of Botox® for hyperhydrosis are temporary, generally lasting approximately 3 to 6 months.
Ice can be applied to the treatment area before and after injections to decrease pain, swelling, bleeding, and bruising. No aftercare is necessary following the injection of Botox®. Make up can be worn to cover any bruising or injection site marks.
Though dermatologists have been using Botox since 1980 and it has an excellent safety record, Botox treatments involve some level of risk. Side effects from Botox are rare and usually mild and of short duration. They include temporary drooping of the upper eyelid (5%) and brow (5%). Patients may also have temporary bruising at the injection site (5-10 days). Rarely, a patients will not notice any improvement with Botox® treatment. The lack of apparent improvement is usually because an inadequate number of units was initially injected.
Your dermatologist can help you determine which areas to inject and how much Botox® would be appropriate for you.