Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a treatment specially indicated for treating expression lines. Expression lines are the result of the expressive facial movements, often located in the brow, forehead, crow’s feet… Botulinum toxin acts selectively by relaxing the muscles, giving the face a relaxed and younger appearance, without wrinkles, and without losing personal expressiveness.
The treatment consists in injecting very small amounts of botulinum toxin in the area in which you wish to eliminate wrinkles. Botulinum toxin acts in the neuromuscular junction, that is, in the place where the nerve responsible for the contraction of the muscle meets with that muscle. It partially blocks the nerve impulse by inhibiting the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, responsible for activating the muscular contraction. In this way, the muscles lose their ability to contract completely after about 48-72 hours and the neuromuscular deactivation lasts for a period between 4 and 6 months.
- It is especially indicated for crow’s feet, brow and forehead wrinkles, and for a slight elevation of the eyebrows, giving the face a younger, more relaxed look.
- Anaesthesia is not necessary.
- Allergy tests are not required.
- It can also be applied to the neck and neckline.
- It provides results in the facial contour, giving a more natural look than fillers.
- It can be applied at any time of year.
- Fast, visible results during the first week after treatment.
- Young patients with the first expression lines.
- In older patients, combined with other facial rejuvenation therapies, such as fillers or chemical peels.
Known hypersensitivity to botulinum toxin or any of the active ingredients of the formulation, presence of infection in the injection site, patients with risks or clinical signs of a neuromuscular disorder (myasthenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Eaton-Lambert Syndrome). Should be used with caution in patients taking anticoagulants and those suffering from coagulopathies.
The side effects that may appear are generally local and related to the injection technique.
Pain at the injection site, local oedema and erythema, small hematomas in the injection site that disappear after a few days and can be hidden with make-up, mild temporary headaches (that generally are relieved with an analgesic). On very rare occasions, severe muscle weakness has been observed due to the spread of the effect of the toxin in places far from the treatment site.
These side effects are usually mild-moderate and temporary.
The treatment is carried out through small shots, practically imperceptible, done with a very fine needle.
For greater patient comfort, although it is not completely necessary, the professional may apply an anaesthetic cream to the treatment zone before injecting the toxin. Next, they will begin to mark and outline the parts that will be treated differently, according to the musculature of the area. The application of the treatment differs according to the area. In the forehead, it acts upon the frontal muscle and the toxin is injected in small doses on each side of the wrinkle, with each injection approximately one centimetre apart.
It is only allowed for use by medical personnel who have the appropriate qualification and experience.
Number of sessions needed
The effect of the treatment lasts up to 4 months after the injection. The interval between treatments should not be less than 3 months.
In 95% of cases, small touch-ups are necessary after the first session. About six months should pass between the first two sessions, with the third session being after eight months and, finally, an annual maintenance session.
In case the treatment fails or the effect wears off after repeated injections, alternative treatments should be used.
The information contained in this page cannot, nor does it pretend to, in any way replace the information provided individually by your plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon will clarify any questions you may have. If you are thinking of undergoing a Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery procedure, consult a Specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic Surgery.
• Dr. Gabriel Serrano Sanmiguel