What do we know and what do we not know about "Botox"?

Botulinum toxin or “botox” is a neurotoxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is one of the most powerful toxins, which in recent decades has taken a leading position in the field of aesthetic medicine as the most frequently used product.

Its main action and desired effect is the temporary paralysis of the muscle into which it is injected. For this purpose, parts of the face are most often treated.

In the upper part, it is used to smooth and prevent the appearance of “frown lines”, wrinkles in the area of the forehead and eyes (“crow’s feet”).

In the lower part of the face, “Botox” is used in the area of the upper lip for the so-called “barcode” wrinkles, or better known as “smoker’s wrinkles”.

In the area of the mastication muscles, it is used to correct the square shape in the lower third of the face and, accordingly, give it a “V” shape, which is characteristic of the youthful and more feminine face. It is also suitable for people who suffer from bruxism – a condition in which excessive clenching of the teeth occurs voluntarily or involuntarily and, accordingly, the enamel of the teeth wears down more easily.

In the area of the chin, it is used to harmonize the lower third of the face in people with more pronounced facial expressions.

Other uses of Botox are in the case of excessive sweating in various areas of the body, such as what is known as hyperhydrosis.

Even though Botox is so widespread, patients are not well-informed about key aspects of the procedure, such as…

Is botox dangerous to health?

No. With proper application by a certified specialist, the risks are minimized.

At what age is it appropriate to start getting Botox?

Botox has been at the forefront for years as the most common non-surgical aesthetic procedure. There is no specific age at which you can start applying botox, but in recent years aesthetic medicine has worked a lot against aging by creating a whole new trend in medicine, called “pre-aging”, aimed mostly at young people in order to prevent aging not only of the skin, but also of the body as a whole. With regard to this, Botox remains one of the most effective wrinkle prevention procedures, especially in young patients with heightened facial expressions.

Although it is strictly individual, for most people, wrinkles in the face area begin to deepen already at the age of 30, and sometimes much earlier. In such a case, Botox is recommended, since the wrinkles are not yet static, but dynamic, i.e. disappear when relaxed.

First-time application of Botox in people over 55 years of age is not recommended, as adverse reactions are observed more often.

Are there any side effects?

Although rare, side effects may be observed.

Cases of allergic reactions to Botox has been described, as well as insensitivity to the toxin, i.e. the desired effect cannot be observed.

The most common adverse reaction is eyelid ptosis, known as drooping of one or both eyelids. This usually happens either with incorrect insertion by an inexperienced injector, or with an overdose of the units that are inserted, as well as failure to follow the instructions that the doctor gives after the procedure.

Does it hurt and how long does the procedure take?

In the upper part of the face, pain-relieving cream is not used before the procedure, and accordingly it is possible to have a slight discomfort from the injections. Lidocaine cream is applied to the lower part of the face for the barcode wrinkles, masseters and chin, which practically eliminates the pain.

The procedure, depending on the areas being treated, can last up to 30 minutes for the whole face.

What happens to the muscles of the treated area after the procedure?

After the first Botox application, within two weeks the injected muscle or muscles will begin to relax together, thus not being able to wrinkle the underlying skin. Most of the patients who have had Botox for years do not wish to have any expression in the forehead, frown line and eye area. However, some prefer to have some movement in the upper part of the face, in this case we do what is known as baby Botox, i.e. we input fewer units of the toxin.

How long does the result last?

It is individual, after the first placement, Botox usually “disappears” faster – between 4-6 months. After the second procedure, the results persist more and more and can last up to a year.

What should I do after the procedure?

Immediately after the procedure, you should not point your head down or lie down for at least 4 hours, as Botox during these hours has the property of migrating and, accordingly, not showing its effect in the desired places, as well as showing some of its unwanted effects such as ptosis of the eyelids or excessive lifting of the eyebrows.

The toxin injection sites should not be massaged on the day of the procedure. Applying make-up immediately after the procedure is also not recommended.

On the day of the procedure, you should not visit the gym, sauna, steam baths or any warm rooms.

Up to 48 hours after the procedure, you should not travel by plane, and the intake of alcohol is not recommended.

Two weeks after the procedure, the so-called retouch is done, where more units are placed in the areas as needed.

Where can I have the procedure done?

Always choose an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist who is certified to work with botulinum toxin.