What Is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is a drug doctors have been using for years to treat wrinkles and facial creases. BOTOX® is a brand name of a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are other brands, such as Dysport and Xeomin. BOTOX®® is the term you hear most often because it was the first injectable botulinum toxin.
How Is BOTOX® Used?
The most common reason doctors use BOTOX® is to reduce the appearance of face wrinkles. But getting a BOTOX® shot can help treat other conditions, such as:
-Severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis)
-Cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms
-Blinking that you can’t control (blepharospasm)
-Eyes that point in different directions (strabismus
How Does BOTOX® Work?
BOTOX® blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract. That makes wrinkles relax and soften.
BOTOX® is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye), and frown lines. BOTOX® won’t help with wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.
How Is a BOTOX® Procedure Done?
Getting BOTOX® takes only a few minutes. You won’t need anesthesia. The provider uses a small needle to inject BOTOX® into specific muscles with only minor discomfort.
It generally takes 7 to 14 days to take full effect. It’s best to avoid alcohol starting at least 1 week before the procedure. You should also stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications 2 weeks before treatment to help prevent bruising.
Avoid rubbing the injection site for 24 hours so you don’t spread the BOTOX® to another area. Your doctor may also tell you to stay upright for 4 hours after the shots and to take a day off from exercising.
How Long Does a BOTOX® Shot Last?
The effects from BOTOX® will last 3 to 6 months. As muscle action slowly returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and need to be treated again. The lines and wrinkles often appear less severe with time because the muscles are shrinking.
You may have some temporary side effects after a BOTOX® injection. These could include:
-Bruising. This is the most common side effect and will go away.
-Headaches. Typically, these are rare and end in 24 to 48 hours.
-Eyelid drooping. This happens with only a small percentage of people and usually goes away within 3 weeks. It usually happens when the BOTOX® moves around, so don’t rub the treated area.
-Crooked smile or drooling
-Mild pain or swelling around the injection site
Who Should Not Get BOTOX®?
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a neurological disease shouldn’t use BOTOX®. Because BOTOX® doesn’t work for all wrinkles, check with a doctor first.
You shouldn’t have BOTOX® shots if you’re allergic to cow’s milk protein.
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