Botulinum Toxin is the name of the active component present in Botox or Vistabel. It is a protein that has been used for strabismus (squint eyes), focal dystonia and blepharospasm since the 70s. This protein is made of two molecular chains: a chain of 100,000 Daltons and another chain of 50,000 Daltons. Paediatricians and Eye Specialists were the first to use it. The former, for controlling muscle spasticity in children and new-borns; the latter, for treating strabismus. Since then, Botox is very common in Aesthetic Medicine, as it is indicated to treat expression lines and wrinkles found on the upper third of the face, working as a lifting treatment.
How Botulinum Toxin works
This protein acts selectively at the neuromuscular junction. Considering that lines on the upper third of the face are caused by dynamic muscle movements, Botulinum Toxin inhibits muscle contraction in the areas where this contraction may cause lines and wrinkles. The technique is relatively simple and painless. Sometimes, topical anaesthesia or ice can be applied on the area to be treated:
- The treatment usually takes no longer than half an hour. Lines and wrinkles start to disappear after two days, although the complete results are seen after two weeks. It is necessary to return twice a year, as the effects are only temporary.
- Candidates for this treatment: anybody who wants to remove or reduce lines or wrinkles in a specific area.
- This treatment poses very few contraindications. However, as with any medical treatment, it is important for the patient to know the specific indications and contraindications and they will be explained.