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All About Toxins- the good kind!

Nov 21, 2022

In this week's blog I am talking all about a kind of toxin that I actually LOVE! That's right, botulinum toxin A! Or as it's commonly known, BOTOX! 

*Other cosmetic botulinum toxin A products include Xeomin, Dysport, Jeuveau, and most recently Daxxify. But Botox gets the most name recognition as it was the first!

So what is botulinum toxin (BTX) and how is it not super, incredibly scary?? And why would anyone want to pay good money to have it injected into their face?!

Well, let's take a deep dive into the world of cosmetic toxins. I like to say that botulinum toxin is one of the most 'natural' cosmetic products we have out there since it is from a naturally occurring bacteria called clostridium botulinum. This bacteria produces a toxin that causes paralysis by inhibiting release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. When this occurs widespread in the body, that's obviously not a good thing and in fact can be fatal. This is why pediatricians recommend that babies avoid honey before the age of 1 because they cannot tolerate even low levels of botulinum toxin when ingested (and yes, honey can be a source!)

But when small amounts are injected directly into a muscle, the paralysis effect is localized to that specific muscle. We can use that to our advantage with cosmetic procedures to soften the scowl lines between the eyes, prominent forehead lines, lines around the mouth and eyes, and many other areas. The great thing about BTX is that a trained injector can tailor your treatment so that you have softening of the lines without a frozen look (unless that's what you're going for, then GO YOU). 

Here's what you can expect when you come in for a toxin treatment:

1. I'll first review your medical and cosmetic history

2 I like to chat and see how your face moves normally when you express yourself, laugh, smile, and at rest. This gives me a good idea of areas to focus on and amounts needed

3. We'll discuss your goals and trouble areas. Toxin is best for softening lines that occur with movement (dynamic wrinkles) and is not used to fill in lines or replace volume loss.

4. We'll take some before pictures so we can see the dramatic results in 2 weeks!

5. We'll then clean the skin and inject the desired units of toxin. We use a very small needle to make small insertions. Most people don't need topical numbing or ice.
6. No need to massage the areas, just let the toxin settle in on its own. It will take between 1-2 weeks for the full effect. If anything needs a touch up or evening out, come back in after 2 weeks.
No matter how good the injector, bruising can happen so we recommend not coming right before a big event. Plus, it takes time for the toxin to work so give yourself at least 2 weeks before a big event. 
Just as toxin slowly wears on, it also slowly wears off. Most people will get between 3-4 months longevity before the muscle movement returns.
Check out my podcast episode #16 for an even deeper look at all things TOXINS!

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