Botox is the first choice in the treatment of wrinkles for many doctors and patients: the therapy is considered to be painless and effective. Botulinum toxin relaxes muscles that are involved in wrinkling. This effect diminishes completely after some time – in most cases, costs are regularly incurred.
Botox (also known as botulinum toxin type A) is derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin (BTX) has been used to smooth wrinkles since the 1980s. In the hands of a specially trained specialist, the prescription drug is largely harmless.
The second part of the term derives from the Latin word toxicum (poison). And indeed, botulinum toxin is a potent poison. However: Botox is dosed very low and also can not enter the circulation. Poisoning is therefore not possible, which is why the word botulinum toxin is often replaced by botulinum. This is a medicine approved in Germany since 2006.
How does Botox work?
Botulinum toxin blocks a messenger substance necessary for muscle contraction, and the transmission of stimuli between nerve and muscle is interrupted. The liquid drug is injected at a distance of a few millimeters into the respective muscle and relaxes it. Depending on the patient fine wrinkles usually disappear completely, the more pronounced lose depth and are significantly reduced.
Which body parts are treated with Botox?
Wrinkles develop over years through constant contractions of the facial muscles. By themselves, they can not regress. Botox relieves the tension and smooths mimic wrinkles. Areas of application are mostly:
Frown lines (longitudinal folds on the glabella)
Worry lines (cross wrinkles on the forehead)
Crow’s feet (wrinkles when the eyes pinch)
Longitudinal folds on the neck
lowered corners of the mouth
strong dimples on the chin
So Botox can not “magnify” anything and therefore has no place in the lip, according to the German Association for Aesthetic Botulinum Toxin Therapy (DGBT). At most, it is very carefully dosed to relax the small pleated pleats around the mouth. When lips are filled, nowadays almost always a hyaluronic acid filler is used.
Cost of Botox treatment
The prices for a Botox treatment are between 100 and 400 euros.
What side effects can Botox have?
If you are overly afraid of the medication or if there are medical reasons against an injection, you should refrain from Botox. The latter is the case, for example, during pregnancy and lactation.
In addition, you should discuss with the doctor beforehand, which medicines are taken. Various antibiotics and sedatives may undesirably alter the effect.
On the other hand, side effects are very rare when used correctly: incorrect injection techniques or overdoses can cause inadvertent immobilization of adjacent muscles. In the eye area this may mean a drooping eyelid or sinking eyebrows. If such side effects occur, they resolve on their own after about three months.
As with any injection, minor bruising may occur at the injection site. In rare cases, mild headache occurs for two to four hours after treatment. More often, however, the opposite is the case: the easing of headaches in migraine patients.
Immediately after the treatment, harmless swellings, redness and bruising may appear. By cold compresses or ice packs, they usually disappear quickly. Therefore, a later visit to the family doctor is obsolete.
This happens during treatment with botulinum toxin
No special preparation is required for the procedure. However, the patient should refrain from taking other medicines during the Botox therapy, in order to rule out possible interactions from the outset. However, if the patient is dependent on taking the drug, he should discuss the intended procedure with his attending physician.
To determine which muscle causes the wrinkles, the patient first cuts exactly the grimaces that are part of his daily facial expressions. The drug is then injected into the so-called mimic muscles, just below the skin. The low dosage is strictly defined. The doctor uses very thin needles during the injection so that it hurts a little.
The procedure is almost always carried out on an outpatient basis, as it does not last long and is poor in complications. General anesthesia is not necessary and would disproportionately burden the organism. A local anesthesia is possible on request. Then an ointment is applied to the appropriate lots.
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