Frequently Asked Questions
What is Botox®?
Botox® is a brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are other brand names for botulinum, such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA). In large amounts, this toxin can cause botulism, which you probably associate with food poisoning. Despite the fact that one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it to human advantage. Small, diluted amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles causing controlled weakening of the muscles.
The FDA approved such usage in the late 1980's upon the discovery that Botox® could stop ailments like blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking) and strabismus (lazy eye). Doctors have been using Botox® for years to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases. In April 2002, Botox gained FDA approval for treatment of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows - called glabellar lines. However, Botox® is often used for other areas of the face as well.
How Does Botox® Work?
Botox® blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.
It is most often used on forehead lines, crow's feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox®.
How Long Does a Botox® Injection Last?
The effects from Botox® will last four to six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to re-appear and wrinkles need to be re-treated. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are being trained to relax.
Temporary bruising is the most common side effect of Botox®. Headaches, which resolve in 24-48 hours, can occur, but this is rare. A small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping. This usually resolves in three weeks. This usually happens when the Botox® moves around so you shouldn't rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection or lay down for three to four hours.
What Are the Side Effects of Botox®?
Other side effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic
Dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, neck pain, and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes.
Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a neurological disease should not use Botox. Since Botox® doesn't work for all wrinkles, a consultation with a doctor is recommended.
Who Should Not Receive Botox®?
Indicated for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines associated with corrugator and/or procerus muscle activity in adult patients.
Lateral Canthal Lines
Indicated for the temporary improvement in the appearance of moderate to severe lateral canthal lines associated with orbicularis oculi activity in adult patients.