Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum. This toxin causes temporary blocking of the release of acetylcholine at nerve endings, molecule responsible for muscle contraction, so it relaxes. Thus, botulinum toxin has several therapeutic applications.
Applications of Botulinum Toxin
Botulinum toxin is injected by the specialist in dermatology directly into the muscle you want to relax. Depending on which muscle is concerned, we get one or the other effect.
The first application of botulinum toxin dates from 1977 and was performed to correct strabismus by injection into the muscles responsible for eye movements. Subsequently it has been used in many applications in neurology: muscle spasms and dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions), stiff neck, spinal pain, urinary incontinence in paraplegic, migraines, etc.
Currently in the field where it is claimed botulinum toxin is in Aesthetic Medicine. When injected into facial muscles, which are responsible for the formation of wrinkles (such as the glabella (frown)) and crow's feet, get relax the muscle and therefore mitigate those wrinkles .
Increasingly they develop clinical applications, such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and hypersalivation (excessive salivation). In the first case, blocking the release of acetylcholine gets also relax the action of the sweat glands and can treat excessive sweating in the armpits, hands and feet.
Side effects of botulinum toxin
Like all medicines, botulinum toxin can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Generally they appear in the first days after injection, are transient and of mild to moderate intensity.
The most common side effects are headache, bruising, swelling and / or pain at the injection site. Less frequently relaxation of some unwanted muscle may occur, resulting in a droopy eyelid or asymmetry. Less common is still the onset of symptoms due to the spread of toxin, such as difficulty swallowing or muscle weakness.
With proper injection technique, the risks decrease significantly.
Results of application of botulinum toxin
The result of the application of botulinum toxin in the case of injection into wrinkles is that they are dimmed, resulting in a more youthful and refreshed. With proper technique we can harness this effect to produce a slight rise in the arch of the eyebrow and extend the look in the right patients.
The effect begins to notice from 3-4º day, peaking at 5-6 weeks of injection. Usually it lasts about 3-4 months, although in a small percentage of patients (10%) the duration may be less than 2 months. On the other hand, the interval between treatments must not be less than 3 months.
In the case of treatment of hyperhidrosis the result is the cessation of sweating in the treated areas, thereby improving the quality of life of patients. In this case the duration is somewhat higher, ranging between 7-10 months.
Overall result duration varies according to the contraction pattern presented by the patient.