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Botulinum Toxin Injection – Botox

What is Botulinum Toxin  Injection (Botox®*)?

Botulinum toxin (BTX) or Botox injections are a very popular anti aging treatment. It is used for reducing wrinkles for both men and women and rejuvenating the aging face. It needs to be done by a certified doctor who is trained for the injections.

What does Botulinum Toxin do?
Botulinum toxin is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. When a small amount of Botox is injected , it blocks the signals to the muscle which are required for contraction of the muscle. So the effect is that it temporarily only weakens the facial muscles, it doesn’t completely paralyze it. This helps the face to relax and hence smoothen or eliminate the wrinkle lines in the skin for a few months.

How long will Botulinum injection take to do?
Getting a Botox injection takes just a few minutes. For the whole face it would take only 15-20 minutes.

What are the conditions that can be treated with Botox?

Botox patients can be of any age or gender. Following conditions can be treated with Botox

  • Frown lines between eyebrows
  • Horizontal forehead lines
  • Asymmetry of eyebrows
  • Crown feet or smile lines around eyes
  • Lazy eyes
  • Marionette lines
  • Horizontal neck lines
  • Platysma muscle vertical neck bands
  • Square face due to masseter muscle hypertrophy
  • Bunny lines on the nose

Increased underarm and palmar sweating (Hyperhydrosis) can also be treated with a larger Botox injection in dilution. Multiple superficial injection are administered directly under the skin. This way it helps to ease the sweat glands and the effect lasts for 6 months with reduced sweating.

 When is Botox not a good option?
Not all wrinkles in the face can be corrected or mitigated with Botox. Botox treatment sometimes needs to be complemented with other treatments for the following reasons.

  • Static wrinkles which arise from sun damage cannot be corrected( which are present at all times)
  • Deep wrinkles
  • Lines on the lower half of the face as muscles in these regions are significant for usual daily functions
  • Very low horizontal forehead lines

 How is the procedure performed?
Patient is  assessed properly and any asymmetry in the eyebrows or face is documented. High resolution photographs are taken. Local anesthesia of choice is used like a cream or instant cold ice application. It can be performed without any anesthesia if patient has a good tolerance to pain.Very fine needles are used to minimize any discomfort and patient might just feel a pinch while injecting. Patient is then sent home with no downtime.
anti-wrinkle injections

What to expect after the procedure?
Expect to resume your normal daily activities right after the procedure. Take care, though, not to rub or massage the treated areas. Patient is also  advised not to sleep lying down flat for 3 – 4 hours to prevent the toxin from diffusion. This can cause the toxin to migrate to a different area.

How much will Botox cost?
Botox costs based on number of units of toxin used and the expertise and experience of the dermatologist.

Is botox safe?
Botox is very safe and the toxin has been used for many years in the cosmetic branch. It is a very popular treatment which gives very good satisfying results with no unexpected  side effects.

Will the injection hurt?
Treatments are made as comfortable as possible according to the treatment and the individual’s personal requirements. Ice is used as a topical anesthetic. If necessary, a dental block anesthetic may also be used. Pain killers are also available on request.

Are there any negative side effects?
There are no major side effects if performed by an experienced dermatologist. Common side effects like pain and tenderness or slight headache might be present which would subside in 48 hours. Sometime bruises can occur but it will resolve in 2 – 3 days.

What to expect after the treatment?
The results will be effective after 3 – 4 days and the best result will be seen within 7 days after injecting. The result last for 3 – 4 months on average but sometimes it can last for 6 months. As u keep doing it number of times the results tend to last longer. Once you begin to see the wrinkles return, you can repeat the procedure. But it should not be repeated before 3 – 4 months.

*Note:Botox® marks are owned by Allergan, Inc.

    • NIH – Botox view
    • eMedicine Health – Botox Injections view
    • Mayo Clinic – Botox Injections view
    • WebMD – Benefits of Botox view
Dr. Batul Patel is a passionate and dedicated dermatologist based out of South Mumbai with expertise in all fields of dermatology, trichology and aesthetic dermatology.

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