What is Botox?

The term botox, known in the cosmetic industry as botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin created by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

As intoxication or poisoning it produces botulism, affecting the nerves of the body with muscular paralysis, difficulty in breathing or even death.

It is banned as a chemical or biological weapon by the Geneva Conventions and the Chemical Weapons Convention because it is considered extremely dangerous.

The ability of botulinum toxin to produce muscle paralysis by chemical denervation is exploited for use as a drug in the treatment of certain neurological diseases and as a cosmetic product for the aesthetic treatment of facial wrinkles.

Application of botox in esthetics

The application of botulinum toxin in the aesthetic sector arose by chance in 1987, when Dr. Jean Carruthers was treating a patient suffering from blepharospasm.

After infiltrating the toxin with an extra fine needle into the muscle, muscle movement is inhibited by relaxation. Wrinkles disappear, but have a temporary duration of three to six months.

The procedure has to be repeated afterwards. It involves little aftercare and there is no contraindication to sun exposure.

The best known brand name is Botox, and it is registered by the company Allergan, Inc. from Irvine, California. It was approved in 2002 for the esthetics sector. Although there are other brands such as Dysport, Lantox, Nabota, Siax, Xeomeen and Meditoxin (Medytox).

Adverse effects on esthetics

Some of the effects that the use of Botox as an aesthetic treatment can produce are:

  • Ecchymosis or bruising, which occurs in more than 10% of patients.
  • Short duration of effect (approximately less than two months).
  • Drooping eyebrows or eyelids.
  • Asymmetry on both sides of the face
  • Headaches or neck pain (Rare).
  • Inflammation of the eyelids or soft tissues in the area of botulinum toxin application.
  • Problems speaking, swallowing or breathing.

There are other less invasive and painless facial and body rejuvenation systems, such as radiofrequency and transdermal electroporation.

Radiofrequency stimulates collagen and elastin, helping to reduce wrinkles. And electroporation is able to fill wrinkles by introducing ultra-concentrated product.