This week we talk Botox. I have recently introduced this therapy into practice, and the reception has been overwhelming. The outcomes with Botox injections for addressing deep lines from repetitive movements are paramount.
When I chose Naturopathy and Acupuncture as a career path, in no way did I think I would be offering cosmetics. In fact, I can likely be quoted saying that ‘I would never get Botox’ (I was an idealistic teenager). However, time goes on, life happens, we learn and here I am, knee deep in practice with a significant percentage being Botox treatments… and I LOVE IT. I love it because it gives results that make people happy, and this my friends, is why I chose to practice medicine, to help people feel better.
What is Botox?
Botox is actually a brand name (like Kleenex) for Botulinum toxin type A injections. There are several on the market such as Botox, Xeomin, Dysport, and now Jeuveau. Botulinum toxin A is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the most popular cosmetic procedure worldwide for diminishing the appearance of facial lines caused by habitual facial muscle contractions.
Small amounts are injected into specific muscles that block signals between the nerves and the muscles. The injected muscle thus cannot contract, relaxing and softening wrinkles; the more product you use, the greater the effect.
Who should get Botox injections?
Botulinum toxin A can successfully treat wrinkles deriving from facial movement for both men and women. Anyone looking to improve these early signs of aging may be a good candidate for treatment. It’s safe for all skin types and ethnicities. The ideal patient is in good health, fully understands the treatment process, and has reasonable expectations for results.
Is it safe?
Yes, when used appropriately and injected into the correct places. The effects are transient, meaning they wear off. Botulinum toxin type A injections are the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure with 7.23 million procedures performed in 2017. It’s important to follow the after care instructions to avoid migration of the toxin and leading to relaxation of non targeted muscles.
What are the indications?
It is used for treating lines between the eyes (glabellar frown lines), crow’s feet at the sides of the eyes, horizontal forehead creases, wrinkles around the mouth, nasolabial folds, to elevate the eyebrows and smooth out neck and chest/cleavage wrinkles (1).
The goals of treatment are specific to what YOU want. Some aim to restore symmetry of the face, others to minimize fine lines, and others to increase the appearance of a well-rested, youthful face.
How long does it take to work?
You will notice a mild softening of lines where the toxin was placed two-seven days after treatment, with the peak of action at two weeks.
How long does it last?
This is dependent on the individual, however clinical trials have determined that it lasts about three-four months. In practice, some go up to six months.
Who should not get neurotoxin?
Don’t get botox if you have an active infection, neurological disorder, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a known sensitivity to albumin, sucrose, or milk protein.