The muscle movements that happen when we make facial expressions pull on the skin and cause creases. Botox® is FDA-approved to erase the resulting lines and wrinkles, but it can do many other things. Because Botox® controls excess muscle movement, it works for many muscle-related conditions.
What is Botox®?
Botox® uses botulinum toxin, a molecule that acts on muscles and stops them from contracting. In the minuscule amounts injected for cosmetic or medical purposes, Botox® is extremely safe and rarely poses any health risk. Most people know about Botox® because of its popular wrinkle-relaxing powers. However, long before it became approved for facial cosmetic use, Botox® had a long life as a medical treatment.
What Can Botox® Be Used For?
Botox® serves many purposes. For most of these conditions, Botox® already has FDA approval. In some cases, doctors use it off-label for purposes where they have found it helpful. Botox® can be used for:
- Line and wrinkle smoothing
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Neck spasms (cervical dystonia)
- Eyelid spasms or twitches
- Overactive bladder
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Off-label uses such as premature ejaculation and depression
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) a painful condition of the joint where the lower jaw attaches to the skull.
When used cosmetically, Botox® has FDA approval for use on horizontal forehead lines, vertical lines between the brows (sometimes called the “11’s”), and crow’s feet around the eyes. Some doctors also use Botox® for fine lines and wrinkles in other parts of the face.
How Does Botox® Work?
The conditions that Botox® treats have one thing in common: they are all related to muscle movement or contractions. Botox® works by temporarily interrupting the signals that nerves send to muscles. When injected into the target muscle, Botox® stops the nerve from releasing acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that tells the muscle to contract. Without this signal, the muscle becomes relaxed. This relief from muscle contractions can relieve many painful medical conditions and provide a cosmetic improvement.
What Results Will I See With Botox®?
Muscle problems like eye twitches and overactive bladder will improve within a few days. Lines and wrinkles will become smoother, leaving you looking more relaxed and youthful. Relief from conditions like hyperhidrosis can dramatically improve your confidence.
Results from Botox® appear within days and will usually last three to four months. Despite its name, Botox® causes no damage to the nerve or muscle, so they can resume their normal functioning when it wears off. If you want to keep your results, maintenance treatments every few months can keep you looking smooth and wrinkle-free.
Is There Any Downtime With Botox®?
When injected by a skilled professional, Botox® requires no downtime and has a minimal risk of side effects. You can go back to your normal activities right after having Botox®. Some people have some soreness in the injection area that lasts a few hours.
Am I a Good Candidate for Botox®?
If you have been diagnosed with a Botox®-treatable condition or want to get rid of expression lines and wrinkles, Botox® might make a good choice for you. People with many types of muscle spasms and similar disorders make good candidates for Botox®. For cosmetic use, Botox® is safe for almost anyone, although people with certain medical conditions should not have this treatment.
Take the Next Step
If you have further questions about Botox®, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Faces Fort Worth. Call us at (817) 927-1818 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.