What does Botox do?
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is a drug that relaxes the muscles and in the process can smooth wrinkles in the forehead, between the eyes and at the outside of the eyes.
Botox is a neurotoxin that stops muscle contraction
Many consumers know the Botox brand but not exactly what it is or how it works. Botox is made from bacteria and is delivered in a powder form. This powder is mixed with a saline (water) solution and injected into the muscles around the eyes and forehead. After injection, Botox disrupts the normal neurological function that allows muscles to flex or contract. Once this neurological communication system is interrupted, the muscle cannot contract. This is what Botox does.
Does Botox paralyze the muscles?
In a way Botox does paralyze muscles. But the effects are always temporary. Botox was originally introduced as a treatment for muscle spasms and when used to treat spasms of the facial muscles around the eyes, physicians noted that it smoothed out the forehead wrinkles as well. Botox Cosmetic was born.
Does Botox Make the Skin Look Tight?
A common misconception about Botox is that it makes the facial skin look tight. Nothing could be farther from the truth as Botox actually relaxes facial muscles. Theoretically, this would make the skin look more loose. The misinformation comes from the fact that often older patients will have a facelift and/or browlift before having Botox and the combination of those two makes the patient look like their skin is pulled tight across facial muscles.
Is Botox Dangerous?
Patients will often ask us if Botox is dangerous. Our reply is very straightforward. Even a drug in wide use such as alcohol can kill when used improperly. But because of the miniscule amounts of Botox used in cosmetic dermatology, there havbe never been any deaths associated with it and it has a better safety record than common aspirin. So, NO Botox is not dangerous.
How Long Will My Botox Effects Last?
When properly dosed, most new patients will achieve a duration of 3-4 months between treatments. By the end of 4 months, most patients have returned to a state that approximates muscle activity before the treatment was undertaken (they are back to baseline).