In this personal blog, The Ottawa Clinic plastic surgeon Dr. Sachin Chitte, demystifies BOTOX® Cosmetic and explains how this treatment can work wonders for his patients.
The story of BOTOX® is an interesting one, as are so many stories in medicine. BOTOX® was first used as an injectable medication in the 1960s to address certain neurological problems. Over time, patients who had been receiving treatment around the eye area noticed that their wrinkles had disappeared. And so began the age of cosmetic BOTOX®, a fantastic anti-aging treatment.
What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is actually a toxin called botulinum toxin, and is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Of course, it’s not toxic in the quantity and formulation used in cosmetic procedures. In 2011, Health Canada approved the treatment of specific facial wrinkles using BOTOX® Cosmetic.
How does it work?
BOTOX® temporarily blocks the transmission of nerve impulses where it’s injected. When injected into a muscle, it relaxes the muscle by blocking nerve signals that tell it to contract. If BOTOX® Cosmetic is injected into certain muscles around the eyes, crow’s feet are diminished. If certain muscles higher up on the face are injected, forehead lines become less prominent and so on. For most of my patients, BOTOX® injections will last anywhere between four to six months. I usually see these patients for treatments between two to three times a year.
What can BOTOX® Cosmetic do?
BOTOX® Cosmetic reduces dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles that appear when you smile and laugh). Some fine lines can be decreased as well. However, if you have deeper lines, creases or folds, you may want to consider skin creams, facial fillers or skin resurfacing, in addition to BOTOX® injections.
“I don’t want a frozen face!”
In my practice at The Ottawa Clinic, I hear this quite often. The good news is that you don’t have to freeze your face to achieve a more youthful, less-wrinkled look. When I meet with my patients, I make sure I understand how much of an effect they want to achieve. The goal is to show restraint and inject only as much BOTOX® Cosmetic as is needed to achieve their desired look: not more, not less.
It’s quite simple, actually. If you don’t want a frozen face, inject less BOTOX® Cosmetic.
An ounce of prevention
I’m seeing more and more younger patients opting for BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments to prevent wrinkles and lines from forming. This is a great idea. Wrinkles and lines are the result of repetitive or sustained muscle contraction. If the muscle contraction is relaxed, wrinkles and lines are less likely to form
BOTOX® Cosmetic is no longer the only game in town, but it was the first to market. In the same way that we typically ask for a Kleenex® for a runny nose, we think of BOTOX® Cosmetic for facial wrinkles. The brand name has become synonymous with the product.
BOTOX® Cosmetic was the first treatment of its kind, but there are now similar products available such as Xeomin® and Dysport®. In my office, I tend to favour using BOTOX® Cosmetic and my patients and I are very happy with the results.
Interested in a BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment? Book an appointment with Dr. Chitte at The Ottawa Clinic.