What is Botox?
Botox is an FDA-approved botulinum toxin that is derived from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. It is injected into muscles to decreased nerve signals and is used cosmetically to decrease wrinkles by temporarily weakening underlying muscles.
Botox decreases wrinkles and helps with teeth grinding and TMJ pain.
Botox can also assist with contouring of the face by slimming down the chewing masseter muscles. Often people under stress grind their teeth and develop thick cheek muscles.
Botox reduces wrinkles caused by movement of the facial muscles. It does not help with wrinkles caused to loose skin. Botox is effective at minimizing wrinkles on the:
-forehead from eyebrow lifting
-in between the eyebrows from frowning
-on the sides of the nose from wrinkling of the nose
-crows’ feet by the eyes from smiling
-lines around the mouth from pursing the lips
-neck bands from grimacing.
What is the difference between Botox and other versions of botulinum toxin?
Different strains of bacteria produce different versions of botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin A and B are commercially available. Botox and Xeomin are type A and have the same active ingredient. Botox was the first brand to be approved to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet lines, and frown lines. Botox has been the most extensively studied and widely used. Botox and Dysport solutions include non-active proteins, whereas Xeomin only has the active toxin. Botox starts working in 1-3 days, and Xeomin has a more gradual onset. Duration and spread are similar among the three.
How long does Botox last?
The full effects of Botox may take up to 2 weeks to kick in, and usually start wearing off at around 3 months. Once the muscle has weakened, it takes less Botox for maintenance.
What are common concerns about Botox?
Unexpected results may be prevented by use of less Botox at a time and injection at the right muscle depth. However, Botox may spread locally and cause some unwanted effects, such as eyebrow drooping, dry eyes, eyebrow hyperarching, or uneven smiling.
Can Botox be reversed?
Undesired effects can often be corrected by injecting Botox into opposing muscles. Botox itself cannot be reversed, but will gradually disappear over 3 months.