When hearing about neurotoxins, many think of lethal poisons and health issues and avoiding them at any cost. However, health professionals have extensively studied some neurotoxins and have found safe ways to use them.
One of the more famous neurotoxins is Botox, a short form of botulinum toxin. BOTOX® is a brand name that has become an umbrella term for several neurotoxins.
The neurotoxins produced from botulinum toxin are used to cause temporary paralysis in muscles. The five toxins scientists create from this mother toxin can all be used for the same treatments as Botox but with slight variations in their impact.
Botox is synthesized from the toxin that causes botulism, a fatal form of food poisoning. Scientists isolated the toxin, purified it, and then found the right modifications to make it safe for injection.
Botulinum is the most potent of the neurotoxins currently in use, which also makes it the most effective in what it does. The neurotoxin usually impacts the neuromuscular junction by blocking acetylcholine, a presynaptic neurotransmitter. This blocking of the compound leads to temporary paralysis of the muscle, affecting the appearance of the muscle. The effect is temporary as the muscle continuously renerves.
When you have an injection of Botox or Dysport®, two versions of the botulinum toxin, the changes take form within a few hours. However, you will only see the physical changes a few weeks after the toxin has caused significant chemical changes over the target area. After this, you can expect your face to maintain the changes for three to four months.
However, the duration of the effects of neurotoxins will vary with several factors. Some of them are the brand or higher concentrations, the dosage, the patient's body, and the method of administering.
The safety and effectiveness of these medications have been proven repeatedly. Additionally, the side effects of the injections are primarily aesthetic and are usually easy and quick to manage.
Botulinum injections can be painful, but doctors use ice or topical anesthetics to mitigate it. The doctor will also use a much smaller needle to reduce the pain you may experience during the injection.
The aesthetic uses of botulinum toxins address signs of aging and specific facial wrinkles. The neurotoxins are effective in smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines that form as you age in the following areas:
Crow's feet at the eyes
Neck and jawline
Neurotoxin injection procedures are usually done in small amounts directly to the areas that require treatment. You may have to receive multiple injections depending on what the doctor uses the injections for. However, the basic procedure includes the following:
Outpatient procedure that requires no admission
Application of a topical numbing agent to the target area and a quick procedure lasting only minutes
Sometimes, you may receive anesthesia if you receive treatment in another body part
For more on using neurotoxins to reduce wrinkles, visit Total Body Aesthetics at our Los Angeles, California office. Call (310) 670-1888 to schedule an appointment today.