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Botulinum toxin is an injectable substance widely used in aesthetic medicine to eliminate or reduce facial wrinkles, harmonizing the face and giving it a younger, fresher look. The side effects are minimal and the results are excellent.

However, botulinum toxin can also have other uses, in addition to aesthetic medicine.

What is Botox used for?

All the facial movements we make every day can cause wrinkles, one of the most common signs of ageing. One of the most effective, safe and quickest ways to treat this problem is to administer an injection of botulinum toxin.

For this reason, botulinum toxin is widely used in aesthetic medicine, especially in treatments aimed at the upper third of the face, such as the forehead, the area between the eyebrows and the area around the eyes, areas that are prone to wrinkles, especially in the case of people with light eyes or photophobia.

The toxin is also capable of lifting the tail of the eyebrow and treating wrinkles on the nose, gummy smiles and cords in the neck area.

It’s also important to explain that the later this botulinum toxin injection procedure is carried out, the stronger the muscles in these areas will be and, consequently, the more pronounced these static wrinkles will be and the more difficult they will be to eliminate.

It’s worth adding that the effects of the toxin go far beyond eliminating or smoothing out wrinkles. This substance is also capable of treating neurological and ophthalmological diseases and intervening in other clinical cases, such as:

  • “Fox eyes”: rejuvenating the patient’s face;
  • Reducing the muscular strength of the platysma, which is responsible for “pulling” the face downwards;
  • Axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating): reduce the production of sweat in the armpits;
  • Rosacea (hyperpigmentation of the skin): reduce the red color of the skin and vasodilation;
  • Treating urological diseases such as urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

Is there a minimum age for administering botox?

This is a pertinent question that needs to be answered, taking into account various factors.

As a rule, expression wrinkles begin to show more clearly after the age of 50, although this depends on certain aspects, such as skin type, for example.

For example, there are people in their 30s who, because they contract their facial muscles a lot, will probably start to have static wrinkles as early as their 40s. Therefore, in these cases, it may make sense to start botulinum toxin injections as early as the age of 40.

How is botulinum toxin administered?

In aesthetic medicine, botulinum toxin is applied in the clinic using a syringe with a very fine needle. After the injection, the patient can go home.

Usually, injections are given in at least 5 different areas, if we are treating the upper face. As a rule, there is no need for local anesthesia, except in cases where botulinum toxin is used to treat hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet. In the latter case, the injection is made with a thicker needle, which can cause more pain and discomfort.

What to consider at the pre-treatment consultation?

It is important to have a consultation before carrying out this procedure, in order to analyze a number of aspects. Each individual is unique and therefore botulinum toxin injections must also be thought out and prepared in a personalized way.

Thus, the doctor should consider points such as the patient’s skin type; the existence or not of asymmetries or scars on the face; and a possible history of cosmetic surgery, especially in the eyelid region.

How long will the results of this treatment last?

The duration of the effects caused by botulinum toxin can vary from case to case, taking into account the characteristics of the patient, as well as the dose of botulinum toxin injected and the depth to which it has reached.

However, in general, we can say that the results of this treatment can last for 3 to 4 months.

Managing expectations regarding this treatment is a very important aspect to consider and discuss with the doctor responsible for carrying out the treatment.

Although this procedure can be repeated every 5 months, it should be borne in mind that if you already have very pronounced static wrinkles, the effects of this treatment may be insufficient and, in these cases, you should consider combining it with other additional procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Botulinum toxin is the name of a molecule or active ingredient, while “botox” is the name of a brand that sells botulinum toxin. This was, in fact, the first brand to sell botulinum toxin for aesthetic use.

There are currently 3 approved brands in Europe that sell botulinum toxin. It is up to the specialist doctor to determine which brand of toxin to use, depending on the patient’s muscle contraction, the treatment in question, whether the patient is male or female, age and other factors.

No. Regardless of the brand, the effect of botulinum toxin is always to paralyze or relax the muscles in the area where the substance has been injected, thus preventing muscle contraction.

Dynamic wrinkles, i.e. those that result from facial expressions, benefit from botulinum toxin, as this substance is able to block the muscles in the area. So if the muscle doesn’t move, the wrinkle won’t form either.

About 15 to 20 days after the procedure, it is recommended to have an assessment appointment with the doctor. At this appointment, the need for retouching is considered, if any asymmetry is identified.

Botulinum toxin injections can also have an effect on static wrinkles, i.e. wrinkles that appear even though they are not associated with facial expressions. So, in these cases, botulinum toxin can work more as a preventative measure, as it can prevent these wrinkles from appearing.

When botulinum toxin comes into contact with the nerve signals in the muscles, it blocks them. Thus, the muscle will receive a signal from the peripheral nerve endings as to how it should contract.

This signal is given by the neurotransmitter (acetylcholine), which connects the receptors to the muscle. In short, by inhibiting the release of acetylcholine, botulinum toxin will also prevent muscle contraction.

Although it can vary a little from brand to brand, the effects of this type of treatment are usually visible around 3 to 6 days after application, and the full results of the procedure are only noticeable approximately 15 to 18 days after treatment.


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