Botox: What is It?

What is "Botox® "The hot new 'wrinkle' treatment everyone is talking about!

Botox® - manufactured by Allergan - is a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridia. This is the same bacterium that produces the condition known as botulism. The trade name, Botox refers specifically to Clostridium botulinum A exotoxin. Botox is one of the most powerful poisons known. However, when used as a therapeutic tool, it becomes a relatively benign substance that binds irreversibly to neurons. Consequently, it causes paralysis of muscle and over time produces muscle atrophy.

Botox is approved by the FDA for ophthalmologic problems, muscle tremors and dystonias. Over the last few years, however, Botox, has become a widely used treatment for wrinkles.

Which wrinkles respond best? Probably, the best area to treat is the upper third of the face, such as the mid brow area (glabella), forehead, and the crow's feet. Other areas that are responsive to Botox include the neck area and jaw line.

How long does Botox last? Although everyone responds differently, the duration of effect is typically around 3 months. It is said that after many treatments of botox, the duration of effect prolongs due to muscle atrophy.

What are the complications? Most common complications include bruising, swelling, and eyelid drooping.

The procedure is performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon in the office. It takes approximately 15 minutes for a treatment and often, no or minimal anesthesia is required.

Botox should not be used in patients with a prior neurological condition, allergy to albumin, or during pregnancy.

Best Resorts and and Skinstore advises any patient who considers Botox to discuss it with their dermatologist and plastic surgeon before embarking on any treatment.