What is botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a proved, safe and fast active substance which naturally produces the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
Its effect consists in releasing muscle contractions.
What is botulinum toxin used for?
Botulinum toxin type A started to be used a quarter-century ago in ophthalmology and neurology for the treatment of excessive muscle contractions. Its positive effect on the suppression of wrinkles and elimination of excessive sweating were discovered only later by doctors. In aesthetic medicine it is used to remove wrinkles and to eliminate excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
How does botulinum toxin work?
Botulinum toxin acts on the nerves in the sites of their connection with the muscles. Here, acetylcholine, the chemical "messenger", which causes muscle contraction, is released from the nerve endings. And it is precisely its release that botulinum toxin blocks. By doing so, it prevents excessive muscle contractions and relieves muscle tension. Then, when the muscle moves, producing a frown or smile, it no longer shapes the skin into wrinkles. At the same time, the transmission of excitations from nerve fibers to the sweat glands in the treated area stops to occur. This results in a tightening of the skin after the wrinkle smoothing procedures or in elimination of sweating.
Is botulinum toxin a poison?
Botulinum toxin is indeed a toxin, but one which does not harm the skin at all. In fact, the entire process takes place in the muscle, not in the skin. Actually, by not frowning so often, we protect the skin against excessive load. The used doses are negligible - roughly 10-30 times lower than those commonly used by doctors in the release of spastic muscles in neurological diseases.
The onset and duration of the effect
The effect of botulinum toxin manifests itself already within 2-5 days after the application and lasts for about 3-5 months. Then the muscles slowly return to their original activity and regain their strength. Once the effect wears off completely, you can freely decide whether to repeat the procedure or not.
In case of excessive perspiration, the effect lasts approximately 8-11 months. Then, as with wrinkles, the application of botulinum toxin must be repeated.
When to start with botulinum toxin?
The application of botulinum toxin to remove wrinkles or eliminate excessive perspiration can be performed almost at any time. However, certain age restrictions apply!
Thus, if we start to be bothered by first wrinkles caused by incessant laughter or scowling or realize that uncomfortable sweating embitters our daily course of life, we have to realize that it is necessary to be mature, i.e 18 years, to opt for the application of botulinum toxin. Strictly speaking, in adulthood, whenever we notice the first signs of unwanted wrinkles which annoy us for psychological or any other reason or if sweating seriously starts to complicate our lives, botulinum toxin is an available option of eliminating these inconveniences.
Who is botulinum toxin suitable for?
Both men and women and, as already mentioned, at any adult age, meaning from 18 years to 65 years, one may decide for the application of botulinum toxin to remove wrinkles or to eliminate sweating.
It is not true that women use botulinum toxin only for beauty reasons, while men solely to get rid of sweating.
Although men sweat generally more and also more often than women, women often face the problem of their sweat-drenched blouses, of wiping sweat from their foreheads as well and fear embarrassment when shaking a wet hand with their business partners.Botulinum toxin can can lay these fears to rest for up to 11 months.
Similarly, however, more and more men as well as women do not want to have their faces furrowed with unnecessary wrinkles, which add up to their age and contribute to their tired look and wishing for the return of their youthful expression, they decide for the use of botulinum toxin, which can cope with existing mimic wrinkles and prevents the emergence of new ones for 2-4 months, sometimes for even up to five months!
When should I refrain from using botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin is not suitable for those who have experienced hypersensitivity to this medicine or some of its ingredients. People with symptoms of muscle weakness or suffering from a disease causing muscle weakness should be administered botulinum toxin with caution and only under strict supervision of doctors. Neither is it suitable for pregnant women.
Does botulinum toxin have any side effects?
Yes, like any other drug. It may lead to undesirable or excessive muscle loosening. Some individuals may experience difficulties swallowing, voice changes, dry mouth, sagging or swollen eyelids, double vision, dry or watery eyes. Flu-like symptoms or pain and little bruises at the injection site are also possible.
However, in this case, any side effects eventually disappear, that is, if they even occur. These effects are usually only mild and transient. Whoever experiences any health problems after the application should immediately contact the doctor who applied botulinum toxin to him or her.