Botox Injection Treatment Facts

botoxBotox is derived from Botulinum type A. Botox is one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. Despite its popularity, myths about the procedure still persist. Be informed about Botox, especially if you are considering getting one.

Botox History

Botox comes from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, a toxin that has 7 distinct serological types. Type A is accepted as the most potent. Botulinum toxin type is  marketed by Allergen as Botox. Type B is marketed by Elan Paharmaceuticals as Myobloc®. Both type are FDA approved for various indications.

1989 – Type A was approved for treatment of strabismus, or more commonly known as cross-eyed; and blepharospasm or uncontrolled muscle contraction.

2001 – Both type A and B were approved for treatment of cervical dystonia or spasmodic torticollis – a condition that affects the neck and sometimes the shoulders.

2002 – Type A was approved for the cosmetic treatment of frown lines between the eyebrows only

How Botox Works?

Our muscles contact when a nerve sends signals to the muscles. The nerve and the muscles meet at a point called the neuromuscular junction. When the signal is received by the neuromuscular junction, the nerve side of this junction releases the chemical acetylcholine. This chemical binds to the muscle side of the junction which, in turn, causes more chemical reactions, making the muscles contract.

Botox blocks the acetylcholine receptor on the muscle side of the junction. When the nerve sends signals to the muscle to contract, acetylcholine is still released like normal, but it can’t bind on the muscle anymore. The muscle doesn’t know it’s supposed to contract. In essence, it is paralyzed, but not because of nerve damage.

When the acetylcholine is blocked, it is non-reversible, and it takes effect within 48 hours. The clinical effects on the other hand, become noticeable after about 5-10 days. However, after about 3-5 months, the muscle regenerates new acetylcholine receptor sites and will again have the ability to sense the nerve’s signal to contract.

The medical term for the action of Botox is selective muscle denervation.

Botox and Wrinkles

It has to be said that Botox does not get rid of wrinkles but only soften them. When Botox is injected into the muscle that causes a wrinkle in the overlying skin when it contracts, it paralyzes the muscle and which in turn, prevents wrinkles from forming.

The effects of Botox are more noticeable in wrinkles that only appear when the muscle contracts. But as we grow older and loose skin elasticity, permanent creases can form, creating a wrinkle that is noticeable even without muscle contraction.