Botox or botulism toxin is a compound produced by bacteria-not the bacteria themselves. Therefore it is not contagious or infectious. It temporarily paralyzes muscle beginning about 1 week after being injected into the muscle. Although the results can be dramatic they are short lived-usually around 3 months. Repeat injections are therefore required. There is some talk that individuals may build up resistance to the compound over time. There is no documentation of permanent injury to the muscle. Lastly, there are 3 forces creating facial wrinkles although some wrinkles may have more than 1 contributory force to varying degrees:
1aging & sun exposure of the skin – cheek skin wrinkles in the elderly
2chronic muscle action – crow’s feet & vertical wrinkles between the 2 eyebrows
3weakened supporting tissues with age & the constant forces of gravity-the jowl wrinkles on either side of the chin
Botox only works on the muscle contribution to wrinkle formation & the more muscle action contributes to a wrinkle the more effect Botox will have, temporarily. Additionally, if a crease cannot be effaced by spreading the skin with the fingertips Botox will not erase the crease because the problem is at the skin level which is not directly affected by the Botox. There are 3 forms available for use in the US-Botox, Xeomin and Dysport. All require injection. Topical and other forms should be available in the future and the indications for botox keep expanding. It is currently used to treat excessive sweating, bladder spasm, eyelid spasms, spasms after stroke or trauma etc.