Botox® For Cosmetics

Botox® is now the most widely used cosmetic procedure in the world. The cosmetic use of Botox® started in 1987 when the husband and wife team of Canadian doctors, Drs. Carruthers (Vancouver Ophthalmologist and Dermatologist) noted by accident that patients treated for Blepharospasm had also had a vast improvement of dynamic wrinkles of the glabella.

Botox® is the brand name of the commercial form of Botulinum toxin (BTX), which is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox® works to inhibit the release of a chemical between neurons thus interfering with nerve conduction of a signal resulting in paralysis. Although this may sound concerning, the safety margin of Botox® is about 100:1. It would take about 100 times the therapeutic dose to poison someone with Botox. The safety margin with others common medicines is around 20:1 (Aspirin and Tylenol).  

When administered by a medical expert, Botox® can be used safely to treat wrinkles by relaxing muscles that cause the unwanted creases. Typical treatment areas include the lines around the eyes known as crows feet caused by squinting or smiling, the horizontal lines across the forehead caused by raising the eyebrows, and the lines and folding of skin between the eyebrows caused by frowning. 

After consultation, the procedure takes only about 15-20 minutes depending on how many treatment areas are involved. Botox® is injected into the skin using very tiny needles that only feels like a little pinch. It takes about 14 days for Botox® to take full effect. Botox® is not permanent. The results typically last from 3-4 months. If you stop Botox® treatments after it wears off, your appearance will return to its baseline. If however, you discontinue after several years of use, your muscles are better trained to be relaxed, therefore, you will appear a little better than when you originally started.