Botox is a brand name, as Azzalure or Bocouture. All these brands contain Botulinum Toxin.
Botulinum toxin is a protein complex that is excreted by the Botulism bacteria. In fact, it is a poison, which this bacteria needs to survive. This particular poison works very selective on the nerve endings, specifically where it is injected. Because it only works locally botulinum toxin is suitable for medical and cosmetic applications.
A muscle that is injected with botulinum toxin will contract less vigorously for several months. Then, again, the strength of the muscle will recovering completely.
From the 70’s the use of Botox became a popular medicine among ophthalmologists and neurologists. They use Botox in order to relax spastic muscles very precisely and with no side effects.
For 20 years botulinum toxin is used for cosmetic purposes on a much larger scale. In the Tom van Eijk Clinic in Amsterdam Botox is used for both cosmetic and medical applications (excessive sweating, migraines, etc.).
The success of Botox in improving the appearance is due to a number of important characteristics of the product:
• It gives very effectively a natural, peaceful appearance.
• The duration of action is opportune, three to six months
• The amount of relaxation can be controlled very precisely, ranging from barely noticeable to completely still
• The site of the relaxation can be determined very precisely; the maximum range of action is an area around the injection comparable to the size of a euro coin.
The remedy was very popular in the 90’s with top models who wanted to remain unwrinkled for their work. Nowadays, treatment with Botox is much more common and accessible. A Botox treatment can, for example, relax the muscles responsible for frown lines and crow’s feet, by involuntary frowning and pinching around the eyes. As long as these muscles have not regained their full strength, the skin covering them recovers from wrinkles, that have been build up in the years, in a natural way. After the Botox wears off after some time, the wrinkles will re-appear. The treatment is usually repeated every 3 to 6 months.
The Botox treatment
The treatment takes about 5 minutes. First, your face will be thoroughly cleaned. Injecting botulinum toxin is done with a very thin needle (0.2 mm.). Immediately after treatment the skin may be slightly red or swollen. The probability of a hematoma from this injection is small. If there appears a spot you can disguise it with makeup if desired. The first effect on the muscles is noticeable after a few days. After 2 weeks, the effect on the muscle is at its peak. You can then make a check-up appointment, or make a call to the assistant, which is preferable to you.
Cosmetic uses of Botox
Botox is mostly used to soften or even disappear dynamic lines on the forehead, frown lines and wrinkles. Botox allows the muscle to relax, so the skin will not be folded. The absence of folding will reduce the depth of the wrinkles dramatically.
Also the ‘gummy smile’, excessive showing of gum while smiling, can be treated using Botox. To slightly relax the muscles that lift the upper lip, we ensure that the teeth are still visible when smiling, but the gums are no longer showing too much.
Medical uses of Botox;
Migraine and tension headaches
Since Botulinum toxin is very effective in relaxing muscles it has become the most popular treatment for tension headaches and migraine. Due to the success rate of approximately 80 percent and the ability to treat these conditions without oral medication many patients have found Botox to be their prefered remedy.
One of the most rewarding uses of Botox is where we reduce the activity of sweat glands to help patients that are hindered by excessive sweating. Most common are treatments of the arm pits, but we also get requests for other areas such as hands or groins. The reduction of perspiration to be expected is about 80- 90 percent. Most patients would need a treatment every 5-7 months.