What is botulinum toxin used for?
By contracting certain muscles, wrinkles are formed. The injection of botulinum toxin allows the muscles of the treated area to rest. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles while maintaining a very natural expression.
Botulinum toxin blocks transmission between neurons and muscle, resulting in decreased muscle contraction. Purified and rid of its toxic effects, it has been used since 1980 in ophthalmology for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm. Then the indication of botulinum toxin quickly spread to other areas: spasmodic torticollis, writer’s cramp, various muscle spasms, hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating).
But it is in the field of aesthetics that botulinum toxin has seen its use develop in recent years. Indeed, it is fortuitously that a doctor discovered its effects on the wrinkles of the upper part of the face.
What are the areas to be treated?
The injections are reserved for the upper part of the face. We treat:
- horizontal forehead wrinkles
- glabella wrinkles or frown lines located in the area between the eyebrows
- crow’s feet wrinkles located at the outer corner of the eyes
At the level of the forehead and more particularly between the eyebrows, the injection of botulinum toxin erases this vertical wrinkle (frown line or glabellar line) which hardens the look and which is caused by the permanent contraction of two muscles. After injection, the skin is relaxed and smooth, the look seems softer and the face is rested.
When this wrinkle is already marked, even at rest, it will have to be filled with a filler, but the botulinum toxin will prevent it from deepening further.
Are there any contraindications?
As a precautionary measure, botulinum toxin injections should not be given to pregnant or breastfeeding women.
There are contraindications to the injection of botulinum toxin that the doctor will try to find before any treatment. These include inflammation at the injection site, personal or family history of progressive muscle diseases (muscle spasms of the eyelid, myopathies, dermatopoly-myositis, fibromyalgia, etc.), recent eye surgery (cornea). Also take into account certain drug interferences.
The product is injected by almost painless micro-punctures under the skin at the level of the muscles responsible for the wrinkle, without any anesthesia. The treatment only takes a few minutes.
The results are not immediate. After the injection, the effects of the treatment begin to appear in 3 days and are maximum on the 15th day. If the muscles are not blocked correctly, a small touch-up can be done on the 15th day if necessary.
The effects of the toxin last 3 to 6 months. The injections must therefore be repeated. But even if the effects disappear before 3 months, we will not make injections before 3 months to avoid the development of resistance to treatment.
Adverse effects are very rare : allergy to the product or infection at the injection site are exceptional. A slight sensation of frontal tension, bruising, a small hematoma or edema at the injection sites may be observed. All these small effects disappear quickly.
In all cases, you should avoid lying down within 4 hours of the injection, avoid facial expressions in these areas and any massage so as not to cause the product to spread, which would promote the occurrence of adverse effects.