Botox is an injectable product most commonly used to reduced wrinkles in the face.
In Canada, Botox for cosmetic purposes has been approved for use on frown lines between the eyebrows; however, Botox is used extensively for facial wrinkles about the forehead, periorbital (eye area or crows feet), lip wrinkles and droopy corners of the mouth.
Botox works by blocking the nerve impulse from a nerve to a muscle, hence the muscle becomes relaxed, and as a result the overlying wrinkle becomes smooth.
The treatment itself consists of injecting a small amount of botox, through a fine needle, precisely into the overactive muscles. There is minimal discomfort with this injection. Most patients compare this sensation to a bug bite. No sedation or local anesthetic is required, and normal activities may be resumed immediately.
Botox is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. Although a Botox injection is considered very safe, patients who are pregnant, nursing or have a neurologic disease should not be treated. Once the Botox injections are in place, it usually takes a few days to notice the wrinkle smoothing result.
The effects of botox usually last three to four months, at which time another injection is required. After several treatments, the effects of botox may begin to last longer.
As with most new products, the uses for Botox have been expanding and new uses include, reduction in sweating of hands and armpits, and relief of headaches.