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  • How Does Botox Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles?
Botox or Botulinum Toxin Type A is derived from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. It was first developed to treat facial spasms back in the early 1980s. It was discovered to improve the appearance of wrinkles on the face. It's injected in very small doses, mostly around the eyes, brows and forehead. It's also sometimes injected in very small quantities around the lips. There are now three brands of Botox on the market in the United States. Dysport and Xeomin are the newest brands. However, all three are equally effective. We use them interchangeably.

Botox works by blocking communication between nerves and muscles. It attaches itself to the inside of the nerve ending and doesn't allow the nerve to stimulate the muscle to contract. When muscles can't contract, they can't form wrinkles in the face. It's very important to choose a physician who understands facial anatomy, who can place the Botox in the right locations to give you a relaxed appearance without causing droopy brows or eyelids or unusual facial expressions. Botox lasts between three and six months in most of our patients. Usually, by four months, the muscle contraction has returned to some degree. There are very few possible complications or side effects of Botox but when they happen, they could be frustrating. It's possible to get Botox in the wrong place and cause a droopy eyelid or sagging facial muscles. In most cases, this improves after a few weeks and symptoms will completely resolve by three months. People who are allergic to eggs or albumin or have had a reaction to an immunization should avoid Botox. And if you're pregnant or nursing, Botox is contraindicated.

Getting Botox injected is very simple. After a brief consultation in the office where we discuss what bothers you about your face and what we can do with Botox or filler, we can make a plan as to how much and in what places we should inject. I inject Botox with a very small 31 gauge needle, and very few patients require any topical anesthetic because of the size of the needle. After the injection, you have small bumps where the injections occurred and these go away after about an hour. Bleeding from the injection sites is also very rare and it is also uncommon to have any bruising, although this does occur from time to time. In short, Botox is a very safe and effective way to reduce facial wrinkles. It can be surprisingly effective in creating a more youthful and rested appearance.

How Does Botox Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles?

Dr. Matheson Harris discusses what Botox is, where it comes from, and what it is used for. He explains how Botox blocks facial muscles from contracting and creating wrinkles.