Botulinum Toxin

Toxins & Natural look

Botulinum toxin is a toxin produced under special laboratory conditions. In its aesthetic use, it is intended to blur out expression wrinkles by blocking the link between the nerve and the muscle. This blockage causes a temporary relaxation of the injected muscle. Subsequently, the expression wrinkles caused by the activity of the muscle are diminished.

Botulinum is a drug for all intents and purposes, used for a variety of neurological, motoric and other medical problems. Clinical trials in this drug began in 1960 and it became available for medical use in 1978. Its aesthetic effect was discovered by accident in patients suffering from cross eyes. It was first used aesthetic purposes in 1987.

 Today three commercial, FDA-approved botulinum-type products are produced: Botox (Allergan, USA), Disport (Ipsen, UK), and Xeomin (Merz, Germany).

They are commonly used to treat expression lines: one of the earliest processes which contribute to the formation of facial lines is the combination of repeated contraction of expression muscles with the declining elasticity of aging skin. This process begins as early as in our twenties. The areas most affected by this process are the sides of the eyes, the area between the eyebrows (glabella), and the forehead.

We often come across women and men with a "surprised" expression, or with a frozen, expression-less face. Not to worry! This is not the purpose of a Botox treatment, on the contrary! This is the result of an unprofessional or anatomically-inappropriate injection. When using botulinum, the goal is to relax expression muscles which we strain excessively or unconsciously, in order to give our face a more relaxed look and to prevent the breaking of the skin and the formation of deep lines.

Botulinum is the treatment of choice for treating expression lines in the top one-third of the face. This is a safe treatment with very few side effects, which are usually mild and temporary. It is important to understand that the treatment prevents wrinkling, however it is not a filler, and therefore when a static line is already visible (at rest, with no expression), botulinum cannot make it "disappear", but only diminish it to a certain extent. Long-term use of botulinum shows unequivocally that over the years, the skin will look better, and the mechanism of the treatment helps also in preventing future lines.

Botulinum takes its effect a few days after the injection, and its final result is obtained within 7-10 days. Its effect lasts 4-6 months. I recommend injecting it twice a year, at least when it is first used.

Another aesthetic use for botulinum is for treating excess sweating, for example under the arms.

Botulinum injections are forbidden: for pregnant and breastfeeding women, for people suffering from muscle degeneration diseases, and of course for anyone who suspects they might be allergic to the substance.