BOTOX®, or Botulinum Toxin, is a toxin derived from bacteria (Clostridium botulinum). It was recently approved by the FDA for use as an antiwrinkle agent for the forehead actually. BOTOX® has been used for many years although it was used in an “off label” type manner. The most recent FDA approval for BOTOX® was not the first time it had been approved since it has been previously approved years earlier as being safe for treatment of eye muscle conditions such as blepharospasm.
However, doctors have used it in areas not defined by the FDA due to the fact that the FDA found it safe for human use in general. BOTOX® is also used in specialized disease state such as cerebral palsy for muscle spasm. Approximately one million BOTOX® injections are done per year in the United States and it has been shown to be a very safe treatment provided the doctor has experience in BOTOX® injections.
The mechanism of action is that the Botulinum Toxin interferes with the ability of the nerve to send an electrical impulse to the muscle. Therefore the muscles where the BOTOX® is injected will become relaxed. The doctor is able to control specifically which muscles he wants to relax by controlling the location of the injection. The specific areas that are targeted are the central forehead area, the outer eye region or “crow’s feet” region, and in some cases the area around the mouth as well. BOTOX® is rapidly gaining in popularity due its safety as well as its effect. Patients should remember that the effect is not permanent and will last approximately four months with the first injection and with repeated injections the effect can last up to 6-8 months. The effect of BOTOX® can be made permanent with an endoscopic browlift.
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If you are interested in BOTOX® Cosmetic and would like more information, please contact our office.