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Botulinum toxin type A, better known as botox, is a product used in aesthetic surgery to correct annoying expression lines in the face. The correction occurs because botulinum toxin temporarily paralyzes the muscles responsible for these lines. This allows the skin to recover from years of squinting and frowning.
Since the early 1990s, botulinum toxin has been used to treat disorders such as exaggerated blinking, facial spasms, and muscle contractions affecting partly paralyzed patients.
These applications have provided sufficient experience to know the product well. It is perfectly safe so long as it is used properly. The aesthetic effects of botulinum toxin were discovered over a decade ago. Since then it has also been successfully used for this purpose.
There are several brands of botulinum toxin available. The best indications for treatment with botulinum toxin lie in the upper third of the face, for correction of vertical frown lines between the eyebrows, horizontal furrows on the forehead and crow's feet. Other uses are less common, and are best performed by experienced users. Light under-treatment is usually preferred. Over-treatment can result in a diminished expression in the face.
30 - 45 minutes.
None or topical anaesthetic cream.
Possible Side Effects
Immediately after treatment only the small pinpricks are visible. Light bruising. Some patients experience a slight headache during the first week.
There are no permanent risks in healthy individuals. Myasthenia Gravis is a contraindication. Asymmetry. Drooping of the eyelid can occur in 1-5% ; it always recovers spontaneously within 3-4 weeks.
The effect only arises after 3-4 days, and lasts for 4-6 months. When treatment is not repeated the original movement always comes back spontaneously.
Correction of expression wrinkles, which improves with repetition of the treatment. More relaxed facial expression.