What is Botox®?
Botox® is a registered trademark of the medical company Allergan’s version of a muscle relaxant substance, derived from Botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin, which in turn is a refined protein made from Botulinum bacteria.
The product is also sold under other names, such as Azzalur® from Galderma.
Botulinum toxin has been used in medicine since the 50’s. It was first developed to treat overactive muscles around the eye, such as uncontrollable blinking. It was soon realized that the botulinum toxin could block the nerve impulses that are sent to the muscles that control facial expression. It therefore quickly became popular for treatment of aging in the form of tension wrinkles in the face. Today the most common beauty treatment in the world is injections with botulinum toxin.
A very thin needle is used to inject a very small amount of botulinum toxin on several pre-determined locations. Because the needle is so thin and the volume is small, the pain or discomfort is minimal.
How soon can I see results?
After 3-10 days, one can begin to see the result. Botulinum toxin does not provide an immediate effect. In some areas, it may take up to 2 weeks before you see results. It is common that the result lasts 2-4 months, but sometimes much longer. After each time you repeat the treatment usually the duration increase.
How long does a treatment take?
A skilled doctor or nurse works quickly and efficiently, with great safety and minimal pain. Depending on how many area are treated, an injection treatment with botulinum toxin normally only takes 10-20 minutes. It’s common though that patients also choose to inject some fillers, in which case the procedure naturally takes longer. After the treatment, you can return to your daily chores. One should keep in mind not to rub or massage the treated area after treatment. Sometimes, the toxin can spread to nearby muscles, that also become affected for some time.
Does Botox® have any side effects?
Botulinum toxin should only be given by a person with medical training and adequate practice. Then the treatments with botulinum toxin are safe and gives minimal side effects. Sometimes a slight swelling or redness at the injected areas can occur. This disappears within 1-3 days. Some patients experience some nausea or flu-like symptoms. Also headache may occur but can easily be treated with any standard painkiller like Aspirin or similar.
More serious complications such as the influence of other muscles than those treated, e.g. slightlu drooping eyelids, eyebrows, etc. are very rare, but if they occur, the effect disappears when the effect of the toxin wears off.
Can all be treated?
Pregnant or breast-feeding women are not treated. Nor are patients with various neuromuscular diseases, such as ALS, treated. Of course, patients suffering from known allergic reactions to any of the ingredients in the preparation, are not treated.