Trade names include Botox®, Vistabel®, Dysport®, Reloxin®, Xeomin®, PurTox®, Azzalure®, Linurase®, Bocouture® and Revance®

Purpose: To reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


What creates a wrinkle?

Many wrinkles are actually creases that have been worn into the skin by making the same expression thousands of times. These "expression lines", often called frown lines or crow's feet, are due to the contraction of the muscles under the skin in that area.


What is Botulinum Toxin?

Botulinum toxintype A (BTXA) is a purified protein produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria. Although BTXA is a toxin, its medical and cosmetic uses produce no serious side effects. This is because, for the treatment described, it is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body.


How is BTXA used?

A few drops of BTXA are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle that creates a wrinkle. When BTXA is injected into a muscle, it blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area, and as a result, the muscle weakens. As the muscle weakens, the skin overlying the muscle relaxes and the wrinkles in the skin gradually soften and often disappear.


Does a BTXA injection hurt?

When BTXA is injected there is an initial minor sting for a few seconds. Once the injection is complete, there is usually no discomfort.


Where can BTXA be injected?

Botulinum toxin is frequently used for the following:

Frown lines between the eyebrows
Horizontal forehead creases
Crow's feet around the eyes
Lines on the upper lip caused by pursing the lips
Downturned corners of the mouth (to raise your smile)
Neck wrinkles and bands

Your doctor will determine where to inject and how much medication to use. Following treatment, you will start seeing results in about 3-5 days, with peak results in 7-10 days.


Does BTXA affect other facial expressions or create numbness?

BTXA doesn't affect the nerve, so there is no numbness in the area of the injection. Also, the effect of the BTXA is only in the immediate area of the injection. Therefore, the muscles related to other expressions are unaffected.


How long does a BTXA treatment last?

The effects of BTXA usually last for three to five months, at which time another treatment is required. After several treatments, the effects of BTXA usually begin to last longer, sometimes up to six to eight months.


How safe is BTXA?

BTXA has been used safely and successfully in ophthalmology for over 15 years and for wrinkle therapy for over 10 years. In the amounts used for wrinkle therapy, the only possible side effects are temporary and localized to the area of injection. Side effects of botulinum toxin injections include minor discomfort, redness, and occasional bruising at the injection site. These usually resolve in a few hours to a few days. Rarely, temporary drooping of an eyebrow may occur. This usually resolves after a few weeks.

Is the treatment for everyone?

There are very few restrictions regarding BTXA treatments. Patients who are pregnant or have a neurologic disease should not be treated.

This information is intended to give a general concept of the treatment discussed. Your doctor will be happy to advise you regarding any questions you may have and provide you with additional information.


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