Botox is a brand name of a botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is available under many other brand names with botox being the most famous. Botulinum toxin is a protein which acts as a neurotoxin and paralyses or relaxes the muscle. It is produced from bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and hence the name. It acts on certain components of the neuromuscular junction which inhibits the release of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) responsible for causing muscle contraction. With time new junctions form and the effect of botulinum toxin wears off.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will my face look unnatural and mask like?
When done by experts using the correct concentration and targeting the right muscles, the results will look natural with a balanced face.
- Will others be able to tell that I had injections of botulinum toxin?
Not when done properly. Our aim is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and not to smoothen out the skin completely. We will do so in a step by step manner so that there is no drastic change in appearance.
- Will all my wrinkles disappear?
Only the dynamic lines will lessen not the static ones meaning thereby that the wrinkles which appear on movement of the face will be treated. The lines which are present on a resting face without expressions require other modalities of treatment such as fillers and lasers.
- What is the appropriate age to start botulinum toxin?
There is no age as such until when a person should wait to start botox. It can be safely administered in patients who want a treatment for lines and wrinkles. It can also be a preventive measure to reduce the formation of more lines. The muscle into which it is injected becomes relaxed and hence that muscle is not used for animations and facial expressions anymore. This prevents deepening of lose lines and wrinkles.
- Can the effects be permanent?
Botox is not a permanent solution. As it targets the neuromuscular junction, new junctions are formed with time which enables muscle contraction. The effects wear off in 6 months.
- Is injection of botulinum toxin painful?
It is well tolerated by all patients with nil to minimal discomfort. We used a very small needle (30G) for injection. Ice packs are used to reduce discomfort. Topical anaesthetic agents can be used in pain sensitive patients.
- How long will it take to notice the effects?
The effect of botulinum toxin is not immediate. The effect takes 2 weeks to set it and the maximum results are seen in 4 weeks time.
- How long will the results last?
It depends upon the amount of botulinum toxin injected. On an average, it lasts for 4 to 6 months.
- Are there any side effects?
It is a safe procedure when done in expert hands. In few patients mild bruising can occur which resolves in 4-5 days.
- What precautions do I need to take before injections?
- Avoid excessive consumption of green tea ( more than one cup a day) 2-3 weeks prior to injection
- Stop Vitamin E tablets 2 weeks prior to injection.
- What precautions do I need to take after injections?
Following precautions are to be taken after botulinum toxin injection:
- Not massage the treated area
- Avoid bending forwards
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 2 days
- Can I take botulinum toxin injections at sites other than face?
It is used for rejuvenation of hands and neck as well.
- What are the conditions in which botulinum toxin cannot be taken?
The conditions in which botulinum toxin cannot be administered are as follows:
- Nerve muscle disorders
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Infection at injection site
- H/o allergy to components of botox
- Blood coagulation disorders
- On anticoagulant (blood thinner) therapy