Botox is an injectable drug made from a toxin but does not have the life-threatening effect of the toxin, due to the diluted form as well as small doses that are actually injected. Botox has been around for many years before it became popular for wrinkles. Many medical conditions, such as Migraine, Muscular spasm in Cerebral palsy, Excessive sweating and Overactive Bladder have been treated by Botox years before it became widely used for aesthetic conditions.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox works by weakening muscles. Only muscles that have been injected are weakened and other surrounding tissues unaffected.
Wrinkles: The muscle loses its strength to contract, resulting in overlying skin to smoothen out. Eventually, wrinkles soften and disappear. Treatments are done 4-6 monthly.
Conditions treated with Botox
Wrinkles: Relaxation of specific muscles on the forehead or corners of eyes results in a more relaxed and less aged look.
Bruxism and V shaping of Face: The weakening of masseter muscles in Bruxism does not allow grinding of teeth during sleep. Reducing the size of the masseter muscle at the outer jawline creates a V shape face. Amount of botox injected depends on the bulk of the masseter muscle. A follow-up injection is done a month later. The result then will last for 6 months. Repeated sessions have resulted in effect lasting up to a year.
Migraine: Chronic migraine is distressful and disabling. Migraine pain is mainly due to spasm of muscles at the temples, forehead, between the eyebrows, back of head and neck. Botox causes these muscles to not go into a spasm during an attack, resulting in both reductions of pain and the number of migraine attacks. Treatments are done 4-6 monthly.
Excessive Underarm Sweating: Excessive sweating of the underarm is an embarrassing situation with odours and staining of shirts. Botox relieves excessive sweating. Treatments are done 6 monthly.
Keloid Scars: Botox injected with a steroid into keloid scars resulted in faster resolution of the scars.
Which areas on the face are treated with Botox?
Frown lines: Lines between eyebrows gives a person an angry look.
Forehead lines: Gives an ageing look and if not treated becomes permanent lines on the forehead.
Crow’s feet: Lines at the outer corners of the eyes
Masseter: Is a muscle at the angle of the jaw. It is treated with Botox for both Bruxism ( Grinding of teeth while sleeping) as well as for V shaping of the face.
The Botox Procedure
The procedure is quick and takes from 5 to 15 minutes. In the clinic, we use a special very fine needle for botox injections. Thus no anaesthetic cream is required, the procedure is comfortable and bruising none or minimal. After injection, there may be some redness or small swelling at the site which resolves within an hour. After treatment, recommended not to lie flat down for 4 hours and no strenuous exercise for that day. It takes 7-10 days for the full effect of the botox treatment to be seen. A review will be done 7-10 days later to assess efficacy. You are then given the next appointment to be within 3-4 months. The recommendation is to come back for repeat treatment when lines are starting to appear. Do not wait for lines to fully seen. The reason for this is that for botox treatment to last longer and the amount of Botox used to be lesser in the future, the muscles have to be kept in a weakened state indefinitely.
What Are The Side Effects?
Botox injections are safe. Side effects that can occur :
Pain: only at the time of injection
Swelling: Disappears within an hour
Bruise: If injections are done well, there should be none or minimal bruises. Disappears after a few days
Headache: Rare and disappears after a few days.
Some side effects are due to an incorrect injection technique. These side effects are temporary and wear off after 3-4 months.
Such side effects are:
- Drooping of eyelid
- Uneven eyebrows
- Depressed eyebrows
- Crooked smile ( due to incorrect injections around the mouth)
Why Is It Important To Have Botox Treatment With An Experienced Doctor?
Botox if injected incorrectly can result in bad effects such as weird looking, depressed or unequal eyebrows as well as drooping of the eyelid. Too much Botox in the face results in a frozen or unnatural look.