Botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic indications
Botulinum toxinis commonly used to soften facial wrinkles
What is botulinum toxin ?
Botulinum toxin is a protein produced naturally by bacteria (Clostridium botulinum). Once extracted and purified, it allows the production of medication (Botox ®, Vistabel ®, Azzalure ®, Boccouture ® ...).
This toxin, which blocks the transmission of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine), is responsible for muscle paralysis. There is no concern for toxicity in the body if the recommended doses are administered by a specialist.
Originally used in ophthalmology to treat strabismus, in neurology to treat spasms of the face or in dermatology to treat hyperhidrosis, it only appeared in aesthetics about ten years ago.
The toxin, which is very carefully injected into small muscles of the face to paralyze them, helps reduce the appearance of some wrinkles caused by muscle contractions.
The reduction of wrinkles
The wrinklestypically treated by botulinum toxin injections are frown lines (between the eyebrows), horizontal forehead lines and crow's feet (wrinkles around the eyes). Treating baleen plates (strained vertical neck wrinkles) with botox is also very effective.
More specific indications exist and are discussed on a case by case basis (lower eyelid lines, lip wrinkles, folds on the side of the nose (bunny-lines), correcting turned downed mouth, gummy smile correction, raising the tip of the nose, opening out the eyelid, raising or lowering of the eyebrow ...)
The injections are advised against in case of a skin infection at the injection site, neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia, hypersensitivityto one of the components (botulinum toxin A, serum albumin) aminoglycoside therapy (antibiotics like Amiklin, Gentalline), breastfeeding or pregnancy.
The cost of injections depends on the amount of product required. In most cases, one capsule is enough to treat all the desired areas.
Principle of the procedure
The sessions take place in Dr Laveaux’s consulting office.
Before the session :
- Remove makeup ;
- Avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinners for 10 days before the injections.
The procedure :
- No anesthesia is required, the injections are painless;
- Several injections with a very fine needle are performed on the wrinkled area
- Duration: 10-15 min.
After the injections :
- Immediate return to normal activities ;
- Avoid vigorous efforts and lying down for 2 hours ;
- Avoid facial massage for 24 hours ;
- Avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinners for the 10 days following the procedure ;
- Flex the injected muscles several times a day to assist dispersal of the product and improve its performance ;
First results are visible in 48 to 72 hours, nonetheless, the final result is visible in 15 days.
The effect lasts from 4 to 6 months on average. To maintain the desired effect, injections have to be renewed. If not, your face will go back how it was before botox treatment.
Top-up treatments are sometimes necessary to achieve the desired result. They are done after 2 weeks. In all cases, the result is very satisfactory and natural (no frozen face).
Risk of complications
Some mild side effects are possible, including a headache which disappears in a few days, small bruises or redness at the injection site that are spontaneously reabsorbed within a few days.
Author: Dr. Christophe Laveaux
Specialist in aesthetic surgery - Antibes
Reproductions, even partial, of the texts are allowed on the express condition cite the author (Dr. Christophe Laveaux) with a direct link to the article mentioned.