Thursday, 23 August 2018

BOTOX Demystified

Though the word Botox has been screaming at us from various signboards, cosmetology advertisements, celebrity magazines, and even Whatsapp forwards, I am sure there are still many women out there wondering what exactly this treatment is, and what it involves. This blog sets out to demystify the whole thing for you so that you will know what questions to ask and from who.

The Origins of Botox

One of the wonders of modern medicine, Botox is a truly painless procedure to give you back your youth. The whole thing began in the 1820s when a German scientist investigating food poisoning from sausage came across the first strains of the toxin Clostridium botulinum. More than 70 years later, another doctor, also investigating food poisoning, conducted research on these same lines and extracted seven strains of this botulinum toxin, of which only three were found to be safe for humans. In the 1950s, researchers discovered that injecting small amounts of the strain A of this toxin could relax hyperactive muscles. By the early 1980s, this medicine was being used to treat crossed eyes, facial spasms, eyelid twitching and even cerebral palsy. However it was in 1987, when two Canadian doctors found that patients who were being injected with this toxin for facial spasms were losing their wrinkles too, that the modern day Botox became famous. Soon after this discovery, Allergan, a US pharma company, licensed the treatment and named it Botox.

Today, Botox is one of the most common aesthetic interventions done around the world. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2014 nearly 7 million people received the Botox injection in the US.

How does Botox work

The Botox is an extremely versatile treatment. Though it is mostly associated with cosmetic purposes like wrinkles it is effective in other conditions too like spasticity, eye twitch, neck contracture, severely sweaty underarms, palms and soles, migraine and even an overactive bladder. However, wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity cannot respond to Botox.

Botox blocks signals from the muscles to the nerves rendering the muscles paralyzed. This is what causes the wrinkles to smoothen and fade away and the spasms to stop. The Botulunim toxin additionally interferes with the release of pain making it so very effective for migraine.

The Actual Procedure

The treatment should be done only by trained professionals. Botox can be injected under and around eyes, around facial lines, between the eyebrows, and the forehead. Effects are usually visible as early as between 24 and 42 hours and last for 3-6 months, based on where it is injected.

A consultation will be set up with the doctor who will examine whether the patient warrants a Botox treatment.He will explain the procedure and tell the patient to avoid taking any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines atleast 2 weeks prior to the treatment. Pregnant or lactating mothers, those with diabetes or allergies, or any other medical conditions, and smokers and drinkers may not be found suitable for the procedure. So it is important to inform the doctor of any medical history the patient may or could have.

On the day of the procedure, the area to be injected will be first made aseptic and if required, numbed. The injection itself takes just about a minute or two and is done with a fine needle. The patient is then made to lie down for a couple of hours to avoid movement to the affected muscles. Depending on the severity of the condition, additional sessions may be prescribed. The patient will be given necessary instructions to be followed, as per his/her individual condition.

There are hardly any side effects. At the most, temporary bruising or headaches could result but these usually vanish within 72 hours.


While it is indeed a fact that Botox is a painless procedure with little side-effects, it must be strictly noted that the procedure must be done only by a qualified professional. There is no generic botulinum toxin available in the market, and with several formulations available, each with their specific allowed dosages, it is necessary to choose the right one.

Secondly, while Botox is used to treat many types of wrinkles, only a qualified professional can confirm through clinical judgement, whether a particular patient will benefit from the treatment, what concentration should be used and the number of sessions that will be required.

Thirdly, only a trained practitioner will be able to administer the correct amount in the correct location to avoid issues like asymmetry, poker face, or ‘dents’.

Aesthetic Medicine has been in this line of service for more than 30 years now. The clinical experts here provide not just answers to all your questions but also will guide you on how best to treat your specific issue.

Fix an appointment today!

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