What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin complex secreted by a micro-organism called Clostridium Botulinum. This toxin is completely biological, i.e. it is not created chemically or synthetically. It works by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the peripheral cholinergic nerve endings, thus achieving temporary relaxation of the striated muscles (which are all the muscles we use to perform voluntary movements). In short: It relaxes the muscles we want.
Types of Botulinum Toxin
Different strains of Clostridium Botulinum produce 7 immunologically distinct types of toxin (A to G). The ones approved for clinical use are A and B. Among them, type A is the most widely used because of its efficacy.
Different brands of botulinum toxin type A are marketed in Europe. The essential differences between one brand and another are practically the presentation and the laboratory that manufactures them.
A study carried out by Dr. Mar Mira and Dr. Sofía Ruíz, specialists in aesthetic medicine, using a sample of 33 female and male patients between the ages of 20 – 65 years, over a period of 6 months, showed that there were no significant differences between the three aforementioned brands approved for cosmetic use in Spain.
The parameters to be evaluated were:
- Time to onset of action
- Injection pain
- Duration of effects
- Side effects; none were found.
Uses of Botulinum toxin
Initially the use of this treatment was medical. The first clinical application of local infiltration of botulinum toxin was performed in 1977 as a corrective treatment for strabismus, an ophthalmological pathology characterised by hyperactivity of the muscles responsible for mobilising the eyeball. Since then, its use has spread not only in the field of curative medicine, but also in aesthetic medicine and surgery. There are more and more applications for this treatment, but in this article we will focus on its aesthetic use. We can distinguish different types of applications depending on the insertion points and the desired cosmetic effect.
Among the aesthetic applications, the following stand out: Facial wrinkles, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and eyebrow lifting.
Facial wrinkle treatment
This is the most popular cosmetic treatment in recent years.
We all know someone or know of people who have had this treatment, however it cannot be taken so lightly.
For the treatment of facial wrinkles it is necessary to have an extensive knowledge of the facial musculature, as well as experience and skill to achieve optimal aesthetic results.
This is why Clínica Sanza recommends that a highly trained professional performs the procedure.
In order to better explain the treatment of wrinkles with botulinum toxin, it is important to know that there are two types of wrinkles, and both are treatable: dynamic and static wrinkles.
These are all those wrinkles, or furrows in the skin, that appear when you make an expression or facial movement such as smiling or frowning. These wrinkles do not usually cause any discomfort to anyone, but over the years they may become deeper and more noticeable, even annoying at certain ages or unsightly.
Dynamic wrinkles become static wrinkles with the passage of time, which means that, without the need to make any expression or voluntary movement, they are visible to the naked eye on the face.
These wrinkles appear with advancing age.
As mentioned above, both types of wrinkles are treatable, as long as the points of application of the botulinum toxin are carefully analysed.
The doctor must assess your face and gestures, as well as your expression lines. Pay attention to every facial movement that bothers you and agree with you which wrinkles and expression lines can be attenuated or completely paralysed so that the result looks as you wish.
Hyperhidrosis (Sweating) Treatment
Hyperhidrosis is an overstimulation of the sweat glands, anywhere on the body, which can be stopped by botulinum toxin.
Botulinum toxin type A treatment for frontal, axillary, palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis is highly effective. The mechanism of action of the toxin at this level consists of chemical denervation of the sympathetic nerve endings receptors in the sweat glands, which inhibits the creation of sweat. The results are noticeable 3 to 4 days after treatment, and the duration of treatment is about 6 months.
Repeated application of the treatment over the years can make the problem disappear definitively, so we recommend repeating it 2 or 3 times a year, if necessary, and for a few years so that less and less doses are needed or to achieve definitive results.
Another way of using botulinum toxin is to relax the lateral and external portion of the orbicularis oculi muscle. The aesthetic effect of elevating the tail of the eyebrow is a sign of rejuvenation especially in women.
We must bear in mind that the muscle responsible for lifting the eyebrows is the frontalis muscle, especially in the central part.
In the lateral part or tail of the eyebrow, the orbicularis muscle, just below the eyebrow hair, has the function of pulling the eyebrow downwards, so applying botulinum toxin in this region relaxes this muscle and thus raises the tail of the eyebrow to give a more refined and youthful appearance.
Care must be taken not to raise the tail of the eyebrow too much and cause a surprised face effect.
Before and after photos of botulinum toxin application
Whatever your case may be, do not hesitate to consult us.
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