What is botulinum toxin type A?
Botulinum toxin is a purified substance that’s derived from bacteria. Commonly known types of botulinum toxin type A injections include Botox and Dysport.
Injections of botulinum toxin block muscular nerve signals, which then weakens the muscle so it can’t contract. The end result is diminished unwanted facial wrinkles.
Botulinum toxin can be used to help smooth:
- Crow’s feet
- Forehead furrows
- Frown lines
- Skin bands on the neck
Botulinum toxin candidates
Smiling, frowning, squinting, and even chewing – basically any facial movement – can eventually lead to one of the most common signs of aging: wrinkles. They can make you appear tired or even angry when you are not. One of the quickest and safest remedies to remove wrinkles is an injection of botulinum toxin type A.
Botulinum toxin can be combined with other cosmetic surgical procedures – such as face lift, neck lift or non surgical skin procedures – such as chemical peels, dermal fillers, or microdermabrasion – to further improve your results. This combination of therapies can even help to prevent the formation of new lines and wrinkles.
During your botulinum toxin consultation be prepared to discuss:
- Your goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs
Your plastic surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Discuss likely outcomes and any risks or potential complications
Botulinum toxin is a non-surgical injection that’s given in your plastic surgeon’s office.
It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Botulinum toxin procedure
Injections of botulinum toxin may seem like a simple procedure to you since it’s just a few shots. But it’s actually both an art and science that only an experienced healthcare professional should do.
There are 43 muscles in your face and it’s vital that the person who performs botulinum toxin injections understands and pinpoints the correct spots to optimize your treatment.
A very thin needle is used to inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into specific muscles.
By carefully choosing specific muscles, your healthcare provider weakens only the wrinkle-producing muscles, preserving your natural facial expressions.
Botulinum toxin treatment injections usually take less than 15 minutes.
The number of injections you need will depend on your facial features and the extent of your wrinkles. Crow’s feet, for example, usually demand two to three injections. Furrows above your brow could take five or more.
Botulinum toxin recovery
No anesthesia is required. There is no down time or recovery time for botulinum toxin injections.
You may resume normal activities immediately.
One note of caution: Don’t rub or massage the treated areas after the wrinkle treatment because it can cause the botulinum toxin to migrate to another area of your face. If this happens, you could have temporary facial weakness or drooping.
Botulinum toxin before and after results
You may notice results within a few days, but it can take up to a week to see the full effect. This improvement typically lasts about three to four months.
When the effects of botulinum toxin begin to fade, your muscle reactions and the wrinkles will return.
Botulinum toxin risks and safety information
Although generally safe, botulinum toxin side effects and complications can include:
- Bruising and pain at the injection site
- Flu-like symptoms
- Temporary facial weakness or drooping
- Very rarely, the toxin can spread beyond the treatment area, which can cause botulismlike signs and symptoms such as breathing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, and slurred speech.