Neurotoxins, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, and Xeomin®, are prescription drugs that temporarily paralyze muscles when injected. They contain a purified and safe form of botulinum toxin A, which is produced by the microbe that causes botulism. Neurotoxins treat permanent furrows and deep wrinkles in the skin that form by the continual contraction of facial muscles. In addition to their cosmetic applications, they are used to treat a number of medical problems, including excessive sweating, overactive bladder, neck spasms, crossed eyes, chronic back and jaw pain, and migraines.
Neurotoxin Procedure & Results
Using a very fine needle, neurotoxins are injected directly into the facial muscles that cause furrows and lines. Receiving the injections requires no anesthetic, but some doctors choose to numb the injection area with ice packs or a topical anesthetic cream. Results can usually be seen within a few days of treatment, and typically last up to three months, although areas that are treated on a regular basis may retain results longer. Only qualified medical professionals should perform the injections.
Although originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of eye and muscle spasms, neurotoxins were quickly recognized for their cosmetic value. Properly placed injections of neurotoxin blocks nerve impulses sent to muscles, weakening them to the point where they cannot contract, and temporarily eliminating moderately severe furrows and lines. Neurotoxins are used to treat the following:
- Forehead furrows
- Frown lines
- Crow's feet
- Skin bands on the neck
Neurotoxin Side Effects
Injection-site side effects of neurotoxins are usually mild and temporary, and include the following:
Normal activities may be resumed after receiving injections.