What is Botox®?
Botox® is a purified protein used for many medical purposes very safely for decades. It was discovered coincidently that when Botox® was used to relax the ocular muscles that cause strabismus (crossed-eyedness), the wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet) would temporarily vanish. That was the beginning of a new era for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. In 2002 Botox® was approved by the FDA for the relaxation of frown lines, basically the lines between the brows. Now we use it off-label for crow’s feet, horizontal forehead lines, to elevate the brows, the corner’s of the mouth and to ameliorate the platysmal bands (the “ropes” on the neck), among others. We even use Botox® for hyperhydrosis or excessive sweating of the palms of the hands and under the arms.
Why do we get frown lines, horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet?
These lines are formed by the muscles of facial expression. We use these muscles when we talk , laugh, smile, frown , squint and so on. With time and repeated muscle movements the skin on top the muscles becomes less elastic and the wrinkles become permanent even without the muscle movement. Botox® Cosmetic can help prevent these lines from becoming permanent.
How does Botox® work?
After it is injected Botox® Cosmetic blocks nerve impulses to the muscles you we want to relax . This reduces the muscle movement, which reduces the appearance of moderate to severe lines temporarily.
How long does Botox® last?
It is important to remember that Botox® temporarily relaxes the muscles that form lines or wrinkles. It does not fill in wrinkles. It’s full effect can be seen 3 to 10 days after injection and it lasts on average 3 to 4 months. After an individual has had several subsequent Botox® treatments it can last longer , as the muscles that are relaxed in a way “unlearn” the muscle movements. The maximum amount of time that it can last is 6 months.