What is the botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin botox, is a protein, or more specifically, a neurotoxin, that affects the nerve terminals of the muscles. They essentially block the muscle receptors so that they do not receive the order to contract. This resulting muscle relaxation leads to the disappearance of wrinkles which arise from muscle contraction. In the face, these are called expression lines.
Are there different types of Botox?
In Aesthetic Medicine there are three specific commercial types for this use but they all have the same active molecule despite being different toxins. They are:
- Vistabel from the Allergan laboratory
- Azzalure from the Ipsen laboratory (marketed by Galderma in Spain)
- Bocouture from the Merz laboratory
All three brands are of high quality and are backed by multiple studies with scientific evidence regarding their efficacy and safety. At Aureo Clinic, we use all three types and decide which one to apply after a thorough examination of the patient to obtain the most satisfactory results.
What is it used for?
The botulinum toxin has been used to treat diseases in different areas for many years. (Neurology, Opthamology, Dermatology, …). Its applications in Aesthetic Medicine are numerous, the most common being for the upper third of the face:
- Wrinkles between the eyebrows
- Forehead wrinkles
- Periocular wrinkles (“crow’s feet”)
- Nose bridge wrinkles (“bunny lines”)
They can also be used for the middle and lower third of the face, although here its use is more limited in terms of results and requires comprehensive knowledge and management of the technique and anatomy of the area. should only be performed by physicians trained and experienced in these more advanced techniques:
- Perilabial wrinkles (“barcode”)
- Wrinkles on the lower eyelid
- Gummy smile (gums are visible when smiling)
- Prominent chin when speaking
How is it used?
The botulinum toxin treatment involves injections via a small needle in the specific areas you are looking to relax. It does not require anaesthesia as it is virtually painless and is performed in about 20-30 minutes.
Patients can begin their regular routine immediately. The only aspect to consider, and which Aureo Clinic emphasises is that for 4 hours you should not lie down or touch the area where the toxin is injected. This means not removing makeup, applying creams or washing your hair. You can exercise in that period but it is not recommended as there is a higher chance of bruising due to increased blood flow and as you are often careless and touch your face while doing sports.
When does the effect begin to show?
The relaxing effects of the toxin depend on the dosage applied and begin to occur between 24h and 48h after injection, reaching its maximum effect between 5 and 7 days after injection.
How long does the effect last?
The duration varies according to different factors: the dosage used, the treated area, the commercial type and, above all, the intrinsic characteristics of the patient. People with a lot of muscle power or with a very continuous or expressive movement will have a shorter duration of the Botox effect.
In general, we can say that from 3-4 months of its application the patient begins to notice that their muscles are “moving” more easily and that from 6 months there is an almost normal muscle contraction. It is not advisable to repeat the treatment within 4 months, but after this period you can reapply Botox without any issue.
The preventive effect of the botulinum toxin should be emphasised. The fact that the muscles are not so forceful while gesturing ensure that the skin does not break and therefore, the appearance of wrinkles is prevented. This is why the first time that Botox is used, the effect may last for a lesser period but with subsequent treatments the muscle begins to lose strength and its effect lasts longer each time after.
Are there any side effects?
With a good selection of the patient and a good technique the adverse effects of this treatment are very rare and not serious. Apart from possible bruising from the injection (which is also rare given the thin needles used), there is a possibility of ptosis. This is a drooping of the eyebrow or eyelid caused by a paralysis of the muscle. This side effect can be avoided by using the right dose and maintaining safety margins. However, if it does occur, it lasts for about 3- 4 weeks.