What is botulinum toxin?
botulinum toxin type A is a protein produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum , which contains the same toxin that causes severe and often fatal disease called botulism food poisoning.
Its use in the treatment of diseases (blepharospasm and strabismus or uncontrollable blinking of the eyes) was adopted 15 years ago. Later expanded the spectrum of diseases eligible for this type of treatment of cervical dystonia, a neurological disease that causes severe contractions of the shoulders and neck, and more recently also used for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of underarms and hands .
As an extraordinary finding as unusual side effects or unusual treatment of eye disorders, doctors saw that the drug eliminated the vertical lines of the skin between the eyebrows, those wrinkles between the eyebrows that make us look tired, angry or unsatisfied.
How does this substance?
Basically, small doses of botulinum toxin used in medicine act by blocking the release of a chemical produced in nerve endings called acetylcholine that is responsible for muscle contractions. When thus the ability to selectively interfere contraction of the muscles of the desired areas, the lines of the skin and soften frown, in most cases disappear within a week.
In what situations is used in the world of plastic and cosmetic surgery?
botulinum toxin injections are a cosmetic procedure that is growing fastest in the industry.
The current indications approved a couple of years by the U.S. Agency for Medicines and Food (FDA, its acronym in English) are the temporary improvement in the appearance of skin lines of moderate to severe frown on people aged 18 to 65 years. It is considered a minimally invasive treatment.
However, despite its approval only as outlined above, is currently being used by many doctors, surgeons and clinics for the treatment of facial wrinkles, so that users of this technique should be advised that Safety and efficacy of these injections in other regions or areas of the face and neck, alone or in combination with skin lines between the eyebrows, have not been clinically evaluated.
When Botox is contraindicated?
The injection of botulinum toxin is contraindicated when there is an infection in the area where treatment will be applied and in individuals with known hypersensitivity to any of the preparations of the product.
The laboratory which markets have warned that a high risk of side effects in people who suffer major neurological diseases such as:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- la miastenia gravis
- the Eaton-Lambert syndrome, a rare disease of the nerves and muscles.
The most common side effects are headache , pain and redness of the face, respiratory infections, flu syndrome , temporary eyelid drop, muscle weakness and nausea. Have been described, however, more serious adverse effects, ranging from pneumonia , swallowing disorders and generalized muscle weakness even some deaths. Other findings have been rare cardiovascular disorders, including arrhythmias and myocardial infarction , seizures , facial paralysis and others. Most of these problems occur within the first week after treatment application, and although some reverse soon, others may last for months or years.
It is important to note that there is no chance of contracting botulism toxin injections administered botulinum.
It is noted that this treatment may involve multiple risks from improper use and lends itself to abuse (have detected such treatments in health clubs, hotels, lounges and other places have even proposed the so-called parties of botulinum toxin in which many patients are treated at once, usually in clinics). Therefore, experts advise strongly that this type of treatment is administered by a qualified physician in a medical clinic with adequate means. Patients should be in good hands if complications arise.
The FDA recommends that Botox injections are administered at a rate not less than once every 3 months.
The trade name of this product in the U.S. is Botox , and in Europe , Vistabel .
Before injecting ...
If you are interested in receiving this type of treatment, finally, point out some tips from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery:
- Make sure it is a qualified doctor who performed the procedure of injecting botulinum toxin.
- Make sure the doctor is trained and experienced in cosmetic skin surgery of the face.
- Ask for all the information you need about the benefits and risks of this technique.
- Avoid alcohol and remain on your back for several hours after the procedure.
- Choose a medical clinic that provides guaranteed sterile technique and appropriate equipment if a problem occurs.