Botox® is the brand name of an injectable medication used for medical and aesthetic purposes. It’s derived from purified strains of clostridium botulinum, a natural toxin that is, paradoxically, a very strong poison. However, the toxic effects are all but removed when diluted to levels present in the cosmetic injectable.
Dr. Patel chooses Botox brand due to its effectiveness and well-researched product safety.
There are other products that use the botulinum toxin in a similar way, but each product has its own formulation and dosage strength. Unlike generic medications, which may be used interchangeably, each botulinum toxin product has its own unique dosage, so these are not interchangeable.
Originally used to treat problems with muscles around the eyes, it was found that the local and temporary paralysis Botox induces in ocular muscles could also relax the muscles in active wrinkles.
The lines, fissures, and wrinkles that accumulate on the face over time have different causes. Some of them result from a combination of lost skin tone and deterioration of the support tissue under the skin’s outer layers. While there are injectable treatments for those, Botox is not one of them.
Instead, Botox targets the more aggressive expression line wrinkles. These result from years of frowning, worry, smiling, and laughter. The muscles of the face contract and form many of these lines as the skin simply follows the contours of the muscles. Botox injections into these muscles cause temporary paralysis. The muscle relaxes as a result, and the skin above smooths as the muscle stops contracting.
Most Botox results appear in a day or two, and last from three to six months, depending on the patient, with the average effective treatment lasting about four months.
Since its introduction in 2002, around 11 million vials of Botox have been sold and administered. It’s the best-selling botulinum toxin-based treatment in the world. While there are potential side effects to any botulinum-based injectable, these are rare and, in many cases, the side effects are temporary. The most common side effect is irritation of the skin around the injection site, and this condition typically passes in about 24 hours.
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