Botulinum Toxin (Botox) is a chemical produced by the botulinum bacterial. Botox® is a highly purified protein derivative of the toxin, which, when injected to the muscle, causes it to become inactivated. It works as it stops the muscle from functioning by blocking neuromuscular transmission – i.e. it stops the chemical messages from the nerve to the muscle. This is not a permanent function, and the muscle will recover by 3-4 months following treatment.
By using facial muscles repeatedly throughout a lifetime, the skin is creased in areas of greatest use. By reducing the movement of muscles in these areas, the skin stops being creased and is allowed to recover, causing the lines to soften or even fade away.
In the areas treated, the muscles are temporarily inactivated (always reversible), during which time the patient can break the subconscious habit of overusing these muscles. Depending on each individual and the dose used, the response to treatment can vary from a relaxation of the muscles to an inability to move the muscles. For the first couple of years, frequent treatments are required to ‘re-educate’ the facial muscles. Thereafter, treatments would be less frequent.