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Common Questions
     
  Botulinum toxin A in the proper form Botox® can be successful treatment for wrinkles and facial lines

How does Botox® work?
Botox® and Dysport® are different forms of purified botulinum toxin A, and are produced by the bacteria C. botulinum, the cause of a fatal illness called botulism. Botulinum toxin is a neuro-muscular blocking agent. It causes muscles to experience paralysis at the level of the motor nerve terminals. Without nerve supply, the muscle fiber withers away.

Botulinum toxin may reduce sweating by blocking nerve fibers.

What can botulinum toxin be used for?
Botulinum toxin was originally employed to treat muscle spasms, including blepharospasm (spasms of the eyelids), strabismus, torticollis and spasticity due to muscular diseases.

Amazingly, patients treated for a variety of facial spasms were found to also experience a reduction in facial wrinkles. This revelation led to the development of botulinum toxin for the treatment of facial wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin can also be used to diminish wrinkles at the side of the eyes (crows' feet), bunny lines, marionette lines and smoker's lines. The toxin can also be used to shape eyebrows.

How is Botox® administered?
Tiny quantities are injected into the muscles. It takes several small injections between the eyebrows to treat the wrinkles. Most people describe the injection as nearly painless. The muscles that were treated weaken over the following days. Most people do not notice anything. They simply become aware that they are no longer able to contract the frown muscles. Blinking and eyebrow lifting are not usually affected, and normal function is expected.

The results of botulinum toxin begin to wear off within a few weeks but retreatment is not usually needed for several months. Many people find after several treatments to some lines that they don't need another one for a long time

Side effects and risks
A few people report a slight headache after treatment for several hours. Long lasting headaches have rarely been reported. A bruise at the site of injection is possible.

The most common significant complication, which still is rare, is "ptosis". This is a drooping of the eyelid. It usually lasts just a few days, but prolonged weakness is possible.

Recent catastrophic side effects have been related to misuse of unregulated botulinum toxin, and should not be an issue with a trusted practitioner.

Common sense dictates that botulinum toxin should not be used in pregnancy or when breast feeding.

People suffering from certain disorders such as myasthenia gravis should tell their physician before recieving botoxin treatment.

On occasion the injection fails to result in the desired muscle weakness. The treatment can be repeated, but to reduce the chance of the development of neutralizing antibodies, it is recommended that the treatment is not given again for two months.

Botulinum toxin has "an amazing safety record," states Bill Habig, Ph.D., the recently retired deputy director of FDA's division of bacterial products in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "Considering it's one of the most toxic materials known and there was a lot of concern about it, it's turned out to be very safe . . . "

 
 
   
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