What is BOTOX?
BOTOX is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. It is administered in a medical setting is a sterile, injectable form. BOTOX has been used safely and successfully in Canada for wrinkle therapy and muscle-related disorders since 1982.
Often mistakenly associated with fillers, it is important to note that BOTOX is not a filler material. Filler materials, such as collagen, are used to enhance facial features. Fillers can often lead to an artificial appearance, such as collagen lip injections. Unlike collagen or other filler materials, BOTOX allows for a natural, more relaxed appearance.
How does BOTOX work?
Wrinkles develop due to the contraction of underlying muscles. As the muscle contracts, the overlying skin folds and creases. The muscles of the human body are activated by particular nerves which transmit signals called nerve impulses. These nerve impulses cause the muscle to contract. BOTOX works by temporarily blocking these nerve impulses. By selectively interfering with the underlying muscles’ ability to contract, differing results can be obtained. For cosmetic purposes, preventing muscle contraction allows expression lines and wrinkles to be smoothed out, giving the skin a smoother, refreshed appearance. For therapeutic purposes, preventing muscle contraction inhibits the contribution of facial muscles to headache and bruxism.
What should I expect?
BOTOX is administered via a few tiny injections in a short 10 minute session. As the muscle relaxes, the effects of the muscle contraction diminish. Within days, you may see an improvement that can last up to 4 months. As treatment is isolated to specific muscles, it has no effect on other elements of facial expression. It also has no effect on the sensory nerves, allowing for normal feeling in the treated areas.
Are there side-effects?
There is no permanent side-effect known with BOTOX therapy for facial wrinkles. However, there are several temporary side effects which can occur including:
- Minor bruising and discomfort at the site of injection
- Eyebrow or eyelid droop (This is seen in less than 1% of patients receiving BOTOX therapy. It usually only lasts 2 to 4 weeks, and is mild.)
Learn more about BOTOX Cosmetic.