Botox/Dysport is actually the popular name for a protein complex called Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox Cosmetic). This protein, which has quickly become the leading cosmetic procedure in the United States, is actually synthesized from the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum which is the deadly toxin that causes food poisoning. This purified protein by itself is not dangerous to your health and does not cause food poisoning or botulism.
Wrinkles in your facial skin are caused not only by sun exposure, but also by the degeneration of collagen and elastin in your underlying skin due to repeated muscle contraction. Think of folding a piece of paper and creating a crease. Repeatedly folding that piece of paper along the same crease line continues to weaken the paper fibers. Once those fibers are weakened beyond a certain point, no matter what you do to the paper, you’ll always see the line created by the crease. Your skin reacts similarly to the underlying muscle contractions as you age. Obviously, your skin is much stronger than paper fibers, so it takes much longer to show the permanent effects caused by the constant contraction and relaxation of facial muscles.
Your brain sends signals through your nerves that you want to move a particular muscle. The muscle actually contracts or shortens when a chemical called acetylcholine is released by the nerve into the muscle fibers. When you decide to relax that muscle another chemical reaction occurs, which relaxes or lengthens the muscle fiber.
Botox/Dysport selectively injected into the proper muscles actually prevents the release of acetylcholine. Without acetylcholine present the muscle cannot contract. If the muscle doesn’t contract or shorten then the skin covering the muscle doesn’t fold or crease and consequently the wrinkle doesn’t appear.
Now that you understand how Botox/Dysport works you can see that it only works to smooth wrinkles that are caused by muscle contractions. On the face the most visible of these wrinkles are usually between the eye brows (frown lines), around the eyes (crow’s feet) and on the forehead. When these wrinkles are apparent, even at rest, they tend to give people an aged, tired or unfriendly appearance.
Many of our patients use Botox/Dysport to smooth existing wrinkles, but it’s also a great way to prevent wrinkles from occurring if they have not already developed. Remember, the more use the muscle receives the greater the chances the wrinkles will develop over time. The use of Botox/Dysport to treat these specific wrinkles was administered more than 2.3 million times in 2003 according to data reported to The American Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery. Botox/Dysport is one of the quickest and easiest ways to recapture a more youthful appearance.
You’re about to go on a big job interview, give a big presentation or go on a first date with someone, and you notice your palms and underarms are sweaty. Why does your body sweat in these circumstances, just like it does when you finish a workout? What is sweat and why does our body produce it?
Perspiration, or sweat, is your body’s way of cooling itself down, whether that extra heat comes from exerting your muscles or over stimulated nerves.
The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands in their skin. These sweat glands are distributed all over the body, except for the lips, nipples and genital organs. The sweat gland is basically a long coiled, hollow tube that is located in the dermis (see figure). The coiled part of the tube is where the sweat is actually produced and the long part of the tube opens onto the skin at what is called the pore. Nerve cells from your nervous system connect to these sweat glands.
The sweat glands under the arms are different and terminate in hair follicles rather than pores. The sweat produced in these glands contains proteins and fatty acids in addition to the water, sodium, chloride and potassium. This is why sweat from under your arms has a milkier yellowish color to it.
When you are nervous, anxious or afraid, there is an increase in the nerve activity in your body that produces an increase in the secretion of epinephrine from your adrenal gland. This increased epinephrine causes your sweat glands, particularly those on your hands and armpits, to produce sweat.
Some people suffer from a condition called hyperhydrosis, which is excessive sweating, usually on the hands and armpits, not due to physical activity. The causes are unknown, but the condition may be due to hormonal imbalances, an overactive thyroid gland, certain foods and medication or an overactive nervous system.
By injecting Botox/Dysport in the correct areas of the armpit or hands it is possible to block the chemical transmitter that signals the sweat glands to produce sweat. Patients who get Botox/Dysport injections for this purpose usually stop sweating within 48 hours of treatment. Clinical studies show that Botox/Dysport injected for the treatment on hyperhydrosis usually lasts somewhere between 5 and 12 months.
Is it painful?
Botox/Dysport injections are given using a 30 gauge needle which minimizes any pain. Most patients describe the feeling as similar to pin prick and only for the duration of the injection. However, topical anesthetic cream is available at the patient’s request if needed.
What areas can be treated using Botox/Dysport?
Botox/Dysport is extremely effective removing periorbital wrinkles (crow’s feet), glabellar furrow (forehead lines), corrugator muscle (the creases where the nose meets the forehead, frown lines).
Botox/Dysport is also an effective treatment for individuals who tend to experience excessive sweating from the hands, soles of their feet and underarms. In these cases Botox/Dysport inhibits the function of the nerves that relay information to the sweat glands in these areas.
What results can I expect and how soon?
Botox/Dysport injections usually require about 4 days before patients will see a noticeable effect. In some cases it will take longer for patients to realize the effect, requiring as long as 2 weeks, although this is rare.
How long will the Botox/Dysport treatments be effective?
The effectiveness of Botox/Dysport varies based upon several factors, including injection site, injection technique, thickness of patient’s skin, size and anatomy of the affected muscles and other genetic factors. Generally, patients getting their first Botox/Dysport treatment will find effectiveness will last approximately 3 months. As patients continue to repeat treatments the effectiveness tends to last longer. It is not unusual for patients who have been using Botox for a year to experience effective periods of up to 5-6 months.
What complications can occur by using Botox/Dysport?
Since Botox/Dysport removes wrinkles by paralyzing particular muscles associated with specific facial expressions the most common complication is a slight paralysis of an unintended muscle. While this rarely occurs it is usually due to gravities effect on the injected Botox/Dysport where a minimal amount seeps into an unintended muscle. Since the seepage is minimal the affected area usually resolves itself within several weeks. For patients that bruise easily they may notice a slight bruising at the injection site, which usually resolves in a few days.
Is the treatment safe?
Yes, the treatment is very safe. Botox/Dysport has been FDA approved for medical reasons since the early 1980’s. Its use in cosmetic procedures, specifically to reduce wrinkles, has also been around longer than a decade and has been FDA approved in certain areas of the face since 2002. Botox/Dysport was also FDA approved for the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in 2004.
How much does it cost?
Costs are generally $325 per injection site. LaserMed Skin & Vein Clinic offers packages that can reduce this cost for patients who desire to be treated in multiple areas. LaserMed Skin & Vein Clinic also offers Care Credit Patient Payment plans. Sign up for our monthly e-newsletters to receive our company rebates or monthly specials.