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Botox-LogoNo matter how well skin is preserved and pampered, everyone eventually develops facial wrinkles. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to remove the lines that accompany aging. Botox® is perhaps the easiest of all these options. Botox® is an extremely quick approach to softening or removing the natural wrinkles between the eyes (frown lines), on the forehead, at the sides of the eyes (crow’s feet), or at the base of the nose (glabellar frown lines).

What is Botox®

Botox® is a purified protein toxin that is derived from a specific form of bacteria. It was originally utilized as a remedy for neck and facial spasms, but in the last decade it has been used effectively to remove facial wrinkles.

How Botox® is Used

Each day, the muscles between the eyes (frown lines) and on the outside of the eyes (crow’s feet) contract many times. Over time, these muscle contractions create “creases” or wrinkles in the skin. To remove these wrinkles, Botox® is injected through a very small needle into the muscles that cause these contractions. Botox® essentially impedes the nerve impulse from reaching these muscles. Gradually, the muscles relax and the facial wrinkles soften or disappear. Patients may experience a slight discomfort when the needle is inserted and the Botox® injected, but this only lasts approximately five to seven seconds. The entire treatment is performed in the physician’s office and lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

Once the Botox® Treatment is Complete

In the majority of cases, patients return to their normal routines the same day. The muscles relax within a few days of the Botox® injection, causing wrinkles to either lessen or to disappear completely. The muscles remain in a relaxed state for three to five months. Further treatment is necessary to erase returning wrinkles. After several treatments, the length of time that Botox® is effective can increase, sometimes lasting up to eight months.

Health Concerns

Botox® has been used to diminish facial wrinkles for a number of years and exhibits very few side effects. Although it causes a temporary paralysis of the muscle, it does not affect the nerve, so numbness does not occur. Immediately after the treatment, Botox® can spread slightly and possibly lead to a temporary drooping of surrounding muscles. Because of this, patients should avoid rubbing the treated area for 10-15 hours following surgery. If drooping does occur, the surrounding muscles typically return to normal within a couple of weeks. In very rare instances, a blood vessel may burst, causing a temporary black and blue area. Patients who are pregnant or have been diagnosed with a neurological disease should refrain from having this procedure performed.