What is botulinum toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a purified substance that’s derived from bacteria. It blocks motor nerve signals thereby weakening the muscle so it can’t contract. This results in diminished facial wrinkles.
Commonly known types of botulinum toxin type A injections include BotoxCosmetic, Dysport, and Xeomin.
Botulinum toxin injections are used to smooth out wrinkles in:
- Crow’s feet
- Forehead furrows
- Frown lines
- Skin bands on the neck
Botulinum toxin origin
The bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces the neurotoxin botulinum toxin.
Mechanism of Botulinum Toxin
Muscles contract when motor nerves release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The nerve releases this neurotransmitter at the interface of the nerve and the muscle fiber. The acetylcholine attaches to the muscle cells’ receptors, causing the muscle cells to contract.
Botulinum toxin injected into specific muscles, prevents the release of the chemical messenger acetylcholine from the motor nerve. These muscles then cannot contract.
Who should avoid Botulinum toxin injections?
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not receive botulinum toxin injections. Individuals who have a neurological disease should also avoid using botulinum toxin. People who are allergic to botulinum toxin or its components should not receive this injection.
Consultation for Botulinum Toxin
During the initial consultation, Dr. Thomassen will discuss all medications you take as well as prior experience with botulinum toxin injections .
Patients need to discontinue taking anti-inflammatory medications and aspirin no less than 1 weeks prior to their treatment date. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications thin the blood, which could lead to excessive bruising. Blood thinners should also be avoided for a few days prior.
Patients should expect to experience minor discomfort during their procedure. In some patients a topical anesthetic can be placed to help make the small injections more tolerable.
Administering the Botulinum Toxin
The Botulinum toxin solution is administered to the specific muscles being treated in 0.1 mm aliquots. This leaves small little bumps on the skin that resolve in 5 minutes. Care is taken to avoid any superficial vessels that could be injured and result in bruising.
Following Botulinum toxin injections, patients can usually resume their normal daily activities. However, patients should avoid exercise that same day and rubbing or massaging the areas that were treated with the botulinum toxin. Rubbing or massaging these treated areas could lead to the toxin migrating from the point of injection.
Typically, patients will see the full results not immediately but in 4-5 days. The results last from 3-4 months. Come see us in Fort Lauderdale for your next Botulinum toxin treatment!
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