Botulinum Toxin, commercially known as Botox®, can be used for several different problems, both cosmetic and medical
Cosmetic Surgery Magazine – Issue 2
Facial plastic surgeon, William J. Binder, MD, discovered the effectiveness of Botox® to prevent migraine pain in 1992.
n the USA, Botox has become a popular treatment for wrinkles – and not just for movie stars. Today, even businessmen have Botox injections to remove the anxious expression from their faces. Leading surgeons in Los Angeles perform up to 200 injections a week.
So what’s all the fuss about? Botox is a purified protein produced by Botulism bacteria. It is injected is an easy, almost painless procedure that produces noticeable results. It takes only a short time, and the patient is usually able to go home or back to work immediately. Botox can be used for a variety of problems. Cosmetically, it is the most popular procedure to remove fine lines and wrinkles from the face. It can be used to remove “crow’s feet” from next to the eyes, “frown lines” from between the eyebrows, and forehead lines.
The treatment also has many medical uses. It has long been used for neurological purposes, and is very successful for migraine sufferers.
“Botox is a safe and effective treatment of migraine headaches,” reported Los Angeles facial plastic surgeon Dr. William J. Binder.
It is also useful for people who have problems with severe sweating. The use of Botox is a very precise treatment that must be performed carefully to ensure its success. Firstly, a specific muscle is chosen, depending on the area of the desired result. The surgeon then isolates that muscle and uses a tiny needle to inject a very small amount of the toxin into the muscle. This stops the nerve telling the muscle to move (therefore temporarily paralyzing it), causing wrinkles to disappear.
Botox treatments are temporary. The muscle is paralyzed for only 3-5 months, after which time patients need to return to their doctor for a repeat treatment.
However, after each treatment the effects last a little longer. Eventually, most patients will need treatment only once or twice a year.
As with any medical treatment, there are risks involved. Some patients experience slight, temporary bruising at the injection site that can be easily covered with make-up. Occasionally, the toxin can migrate to other muscles and cause temporary weakness. In rare cases, dropping of an eyelid or an asymmetrical facial expression can occur.
However, all possible side effects are temporary, lasting only a few weeks as Botox is completely reversible. Botox is becoming increasingly useful for both cosmetic and medical purposes. The ease of the treatment and the relative safety mean it is becoming one of the most popular ways of removing lines from people’s faces.