Ms. Fitness – Fall, 1997
Medical science has a safe and effective weapon to fight facial expression lines. Botulinum Toxin A, or Botox, is a purified biological protein that is easily administered during a routine office visit. A simple injection directly into the facial muscles weakens and reduces the muscular pull on the skin, eliminating the ability to form deep expression lines. Results after a first treatment last an average of three months, then sometimes up to six months with each successive injection. In treating patients with blepharospasm (eyelid spasms), physicians noticed that patients’ expression lines disappeared. Botox is not a replacement but a complement to other cosmetic procedures, such as collagen injections and laser resurfacing.
According to William Binder, M.D., a Beverly Hills based plastic surgeon and one of the trailblazers in the use of Botox injections, “Collagen, lasers and Botox can be used as complements to each other. Furthermore, collagen lasts longer after Botox treatments.”
Botox’s safety record is stellar. Binder, who performed the only double-blind study of the substance, reports, “In the 30,000 injections administered, there have been no allergic reactions.” He sees Botox as the “most ironic” drug because “it is the most toxic and dangerous neurotoxin in its purified form, but also the safest drug ever used. The margin of safety for Botox is greater than that for aspirin. Also, there is no cumulative effect because Botox dissolves.” Binder also finds that Botox transcends mere aesthetics, as in the case of a kindergarten teacher whose students were no longer afraid of her after the Botox procedure softened her looks.