Botulinum toxin is commonly used to soften certain facial wrinkles

What is botulinum toxin ?

Botulinum toxin (or botulinal toxin) is a protein that is naturally produced by bacteria (Clostridium Botulinum). Once extracted and purified, it is used in the production of medication (Botox ® for neurological indications, Vistabel ®, Azzalure ®, Boccouture ® for aesthetic indications).

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 a specialist administers the recommended doses.

Originally used in ophthalmology to treat strabismus, in neurology to treat spasms of the face or in dermatology to treat hyperhidrosis, it has been used in aesthetics for about ten years.
The Botulinum toxin, which is very carefully injected into small muscles of the face to paralyse them, helps reduce the appearance of some wrinkles caused by muscle contractions.

The reduction of wrinkles

front-plisse-botoxThe wrinkles typically treated by Botulinum toxin injections are frown lines (between the eyebrows), horizontal forehead lines and crow’s feet (wrinkles around the eyes). Treating turkey neck (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, hypersensitivity to 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. Two doses are sometimes required for the more complex treatments or for male patients.

Practical information …

Aesthetic injections of Botulinum toxin take place in Doctor Laveaux’s office.

Before the session:

  • Remove makeup;
  • Avoid taking aspirin or other blood thinners for 15 days before the injections.

The procedure :

  • No anaesthesia 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 15 days following the procedure;
  • Flex the injected muscles several times a day to assist dispersal of the product and improve its performance;
  • First results in 48 to 72 hours, 15 days for final result.

The effect lasts from 4 to 6 months on average. Injections need to be renewed to maintain the desired effect. If the treatment is not continued, the face returns exactly to the way it was prior to the procedure, without any after effects.

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.

Top-up treatments are sometimes necessary to achieve the desired result. They are carried out 2 weeks after the initial procedure.
In all cases, the result is very satisfactory and natural. Some facial expressions can be diminished but not completely suppressed (no frozen face effect).