Botulinum toxin (a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria) has been used safely by ophthalmologists for over 20 years. Botulinum toxin or neurotoxin has been used for wrinkle therapy since the early 1990’s with no serious side effects documented.
Two products currently FDA approved and available to use are Botox Cosmetic and Xeomin (both neurotoxins). These neurotoxins are injected to relax the muscles that create wrinkles thereby lessening the appearance of frown lines, laugh lines and crow’s feet.
A protein toxin produced by the clostridium botulinum bacteria, Botox and Xeomin eliminate the
facial wrinkles that occur with overuse of facial muscles.
A small amount of the neurotoxin is injected right into the muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles. The neurotoxin effectively inactivates the muscles that produce wrinkles, thereby causing lines to disappear or diminish dramatically. It may take a few days to notice the wrinkle smoothing effect after receiving the injections.
Some of the common areas treated include crow’s feet, frown lines, laugh lines, and forehead wrinkles.
This treatment is quick and results usually last three to six months. After that you may return for a follow-up injection. Some doctors report that after several treatments, the effect of the nerotoxin appears to last longer, often up to several months more.
The most common complication, albeit still quite rare, is a slight, temporary drooping of the eyelid. Botox and Xeomin are used in extremely small amounts and do not spread throughout the body so you can return to full activity immediately.
Botulinium toxin can be used by almost anyone: patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have a neurologic disease should not use Botox or Xeomin.
Some other uses for botulinum toxin include reduction in sweating of hands and armpits (hyperhydrosis) and relief of migraine headaches.