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Botox: everything you need to know about botulinum toxin injections

Botox, botulinum toxin, is talked about a lot, but do we really know what it is? Ségolène Fays-Michel, dermatologist specializing in aesthetic dermatology, returns to the baba. by answering our common questions, but with not-so-obvious answers.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS BOTOX?

Botulinum toxin is a product that reduces muscle contraction by acting at the level of the neuromuscular junction. Since 1975, doctors have been using botulinum toxin to correct childhood strabismus, facial tics and uncontrollable blinking of the eye. It is a medicine in its own right. In France, the first marketing authorizations appeared from 1990 for certain pathological indications (ophthalmology, ENT, functional rehabilitation, neurology).

HOW DID BOTOX BECOME A PRODUCT USED FOR AESTHETICS?

With regard to medical aesthetics, Doctor Carruthers, an ophthalmologist in Canada, was the first to notice that his patients treated with botulinum toxin had fewer wrinkles around the eye than the others. In 1990, an observant patient asked him to harmonize the other eye: this is how the aesthetic indication was born. Botulinum toxinunder the name of Botox received, in the United States, authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for its use in the treatment of wrinkles between the eyebrows or “frown lines”. In February 2003, the French administrative authorities in charge of drug control granted for the first time a marketing authorization for botulinum toxin for aesthetic purposes under the name Vistabel. This authorization concerns the aesthetic use for the treatment of glabellar lines (wrinkles between the eyebrows or “frown lines”)

DOES BOTOX HAVE ANY AESTHETIC FUNCTIONS OTHER THAN TO “DELAY AGING” IN APPEARANCE?

It can also be used in the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Botox is injected into areas that sweat a lot, especially in the armpits.

ARE BOTULINUM TOXIN INJECTIONS PAINFUL?

No, they are not painful. For those most sensitive to pain, however, an anesthetic cream can be applied before the injection.

HOW LONG DOES EACH SESSION TAKE ON AVERAGE?

The injection is done in just a few minutes, it is the preliminary clinical examination that is the longest. Indeed, a meticulous analysis of the patient’s wrinkles and musculature is essential to obtain an optimal and as natural result as possible.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST ON AVERAGE?

Depending on the areas injected and the quantity used, the price of the injection can range between 300 and 500 euros.

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS AFTER A SESSION?

Usually, the results of these injections are without any side effects. Sometimes, a few slightly swollen marks remain for 20 to 30 minutes and then disappear. Patients can resume normal activities after the injections.

However, during the four hours following the injections, it is however recommended that you do not do intensive sports , do not lie down with your face compressed and do not put your head down or completely backwards. Facial manipulations (strong massages) are not recommended on the day of the session.

BOTOX INJECTIONS: ARE THERE ANY CONTRAINDICATIONS?

They are rare, here they are: certain neuromuscular diseases such as myasthenia gravis. Being pregnant, even for only a few days, absolutely requires postponing the date of injections after pregnancy and stopping any breastfeeding. Botulinum toxin is contraindicated in case of known hypersensitivity to botulinum neurotoxin A and treatment with aminoglycosides (family of antibiotics which include Amiklin and Gentalline).

WHAT IS THE DOSE NOT TO EXCEED?

The doses injected in aesthetics are much lower than those used in neurological pathology for example. There is no risk of overdose when treating facial wrinkles. The number of injections in a lifetime is not limited at all.

IS THERE ANOTHER SUBSTANCE THAT CAN BE USED TO ERASE WRINKLES?

You can use fillers like hyaluronic acid . For certain areas such as the forehead and crow’s feet (but Botox allows a more optimal result while remaining natural if injected properly).

BOTOX AND HYALURONIC ACID: MAXIMIZING THE EFFECTS OF BOTULINUM TOXIN

For certain well-marked wrinkles such as deep frown lines, we can inject hyaluronic acid a fortnight following the Botox if these are not sufficiently faded. The combination of these two substances is quite possible.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE STOP THE SESSIONS?

We find its initial appearance, identically, without any modification. Wrinkles reappear and fortunately no damage to the skin.

IS THERE A POSSIBLE COSMETIC PREPARATION TO RECEIVE THE TREATMENTS?

No skin preparation is necessary. Patients can use their usual cosmetic care either before or after their session.

AREAS WHERE BOTOX INJECTIONS ARE EFFECTIVE

Expression wrinkle (goose pasta)

Botox injections are basically used to treat expression lines aka first wrinkles. Frown lines, crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, naso-labial lines, bitterness folds… These can appear from the age of 20 and are very often the consequences of facial tics. Botulinum toxin acts as a targeted muscle relaxant and offers a real anti-aging effect.

lion’s wrinkle

Also called the glabella, the lion’s wrinkle , located between the eyes, gives us that stern and angry look even when we are totally relaxed. His origin ? The repeated contraction of the frontal muscles which, unfortunately, end up freezing. Botox injections will relax the area. An operation to be repeated several times a year.

Forehead wrinkle

Whether vertical or horizontal, wrinkles on the forehead are often the result of our facial expressions. As with other expression lines, these are also treated with botulinum toxin injections to relax the muscle for a smoother appearance.

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