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What Exactly is Botox?

August 24, 2018

  

While Botox is one of the most well-known injectables, most patients have no idea what it actually is.  Before going under any needle, it is recommended by all board-certified facial plastic surgeons that the patient fully understands what it is that they’re requesting.

 

What is Botox?

Botox is a neuromodulator (just like Xeomin and Dysport) made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum called botulinum toxin.  Contrary to popular belief, it actually comes in powder form.  The doctor dilutes the drug with saline to make it an injectable.  By adding saline, the doctor is in essence watering the powder down to take out any noxious capabilities it may have.  Although this injection does contain parts of the bacterium, it does not make the area go numb.

 

How does it work?

After the injection occurs, the now liquid form moves from the dermis and into the muscle, blocking the synapses.  This is why, in some cases, when the brain tells the body to move a certain muscle after a Botox injection, nothing happens.  Ultimately, the muscle can no longer contract.  This is what effectively causes wrinkles to relax. 

 

Does it stay in place?

Botox stays where it is injected. It does not eventually take the liberty of relocating throughout the body.  With that said, it does have the ability to move centimeters from where it gets injected. 

 

How long does it last?

After about 3 months, the proteins stop functioning and Botox is broken down into amino acids that are excreted via the kidneys or recycled for other uses in different proteins.  At that point, the muscles will start moving again.

 

How often do I need Botox?

Over time, with continued Botox injections, the muscles weaken from lack of use. For this reason, as time goes on, patients require fewer Botox treatments. Some of Dr. Azzi’s long-time Botox patients only need injections every 6 months or so.

 

Again, one of the most important steps prior to getting any kind of work done is fully understanding what it is you’re getting into. 

 

If you have any questions, we welcome you to visit any of our offices located in Jupiter or Palm City, Florida.  During a consultation, Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi will field all of your questions and recommend what he thinks will be best for your individual situation and goals.

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