Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin. This toxin is made by the same bacteria that cause botulism, a type of food poisoning.
When Botox is injected into the muscles you use when you frown, squint, or smile, the muscles relax and your skin looks smoother. The injections stop nerve impulses from moving to the injected muscles.
When is it used?
Botox is used to treat:
Small wrinkles around your eyes (crowâ€™s feet)
Wrinkles in your forehead
Frown lines near your eyebrows
What happens during the treatment?
Your healthcare provider may numb your skin with ice or an anesthetic cream before giving you the shots. The treatment takes about 10 minutes.
It takes 4 days for Botox to start to relax the muscles. The results may last up to 4 months. As the muscle returns to normal, you will see wrinkles again. To keep the effects, you will need to repeat treatments every 3 to 4 months.
How should I take care of myself after the treatment?
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. In addition:
Ask your healthcare provider:
How long it will take to recover
If there are activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
How to take care of yourself at home
What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them
Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup or another treatment.
What are the risks of this treatment?
Before receiving Botox, tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had heart disease or a nerve or muscle disorder such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or myasthenia gravis. Botox may make these conditions worse.
Do not use Botox if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant or if you are breast feeding.
Possible risks include:
Droopy eyelid, which can last for a few weeks
Treatment with this medicine may cause your body to form antibodies that may make future treatments less effective. You should receive the lowest effective dose, with at least 3 months between shots.
Injections in the muscles close to the eyes may cause you to blink less, which may cause dry eyes. Your healthcare provider may prescribe eyedrops, ointment, soft contact lenses, or an eye patch to protect your eyes until the medicine has worn off enough for you to be able to blink normally again.
Getting treatment from a healthcare provider who is experienced in using Botox helps decrease risks. The treatment should be done in a medical setting where you can be treated for any side effects you may have.
Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 2014-06-23 Last reviewed: 2013-07-14
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.