Georgeanna Huang, MD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

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BOTOX® Cosmetic

BOTOX® Cosmetic is the brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum; in large amounts, this toxin can cause botulism, which you probably associate with food poisoning. Despite the fact that one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it to human advantage. Small, diluted amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles causing controlled weakening of the muscles.

In the late 1980s the FDA approved BOTOX® Cosmetic upon the discovery that it could stop ailments like blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking) and strabismus (lazy eye). Plastic surgery physicians have been using BOTOX® Cosmetic for years to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases and in April 2002, BOTOX® Cosmetic gained FDA approval for treatment of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows, called glabellar lines. The way BOTOX® Cosmetic works is that it blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften, creating smoother facial skin.

BOTOX® Cosmetic fillers are most often used on forehead lines, crow's feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines, however, wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment. BOTOX® Cosmetic is the number one non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, with 2.4 million treatments in 2008.

The toxin blocks the nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles while giving the skin a smoother, more refreshed appearance. Studies have also suggested that BOTOX® Cosmetic is effective in relieving migraine headaches, excessive sweating and muscle spasms in the neck and eyes. It reduces or eliminates frown lines, forehead creases, crow’s feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck.

BOTOX® Cosmetic has been proven to be the most effective, non-surgical aesthetic technique for eliminating dynamic facial wrinkles. These active, deep wrinkles are due to contractions of the muscles of the face which pull the skin inward creating creases in the skin. The more expressive you are, the deeper these lines are likely to become over time. A simple injection directly into the facial muscle temporarily paralyzes or weakens the muscle. This reduces the pull on the skin and eliminates the formation of the deep expression lines on the face. It is easily administered during a routine office visit and you can quickly return to work or normal activity.

BOTOX® Cosmetic can be used on frown lines, horizontal lines of the forehead and crow’s feet around the eyes. BOTOX® Cosmetic can also be used in specific ways to selectively elevate either the medial (inner) or lateral (outer) portion of the eyebrow. BOTOX® Cosmetic is used alone or in combination with facial fillers, skin care or as a compliment with surgical procedures.

The effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic begin to work in approximately 24 to 72 hours and the effects usually last from 3 to 6 months or until muscle function begins to return. The effectiveness and duration of treatment is also associated with the dilution or amount of BOTOX® Cosmetic units that the patient receives. The treating physician has the option to use a high or low dilution in your treatment. You should make sure that the amount charged for each treatment contains the necessary amount of Botox. You should make sure that the amount charged for each treatment contains the necessary amount of Botox. There is some evidence that the effects last longer after repeated injections.


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is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with subspecialty training in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast.
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BOTOX® Cosmetic is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc. and JUVÉDERM® is a registered trademark of Allergan Industrie, SAS.

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