Botox: What YOU should know.

James Shire, M.D., F.A.C.S. was the first person to preform cosmetic Botox® in the Chattanooga TN area. With over 16 year of experience in treating patients with Botox®, this article will provide the information that all patients should understand about Botox®. This is one of the safest and most effective treatments there is.

Botox® is botulinum toxin type A and is a product that is made in a laboratory. It was first developed in the 1940′s and has been used for years treating neuro-muscular problems throughout the body. 1988 was the first time it was used to treat a wrinkle. What Botox® is actually doing is preventing the muscles from contracting, thus eliminating the wrinkles. We use Botox® to treat the frown lines, forehead lines and crows’ feet. It is not recommended for the area around the mouth or under the eyes. These muscles are in your face for a reason, and it is not for wrinkle -making; they are brow depressors, pulling the brows down. Therefore, with Botox®, not only do the lines and wrinkles disappear but by knocking out the brow depressor muscles, you can also get a little browlift, which is the reason it looks so good.

Botox® is very predicable and very safe. The variability in results is not from the Botox®, but from who is preparing and giving the Botox®. It must be reconstituted properly. We reconstitute to 2cc for 100 units. Beware of those who over dilute it with 5cc or even up to 10cc per 100 units, this will make the product less effective and will not last as long. That is why you can find it advertized so cheaply, but in reality, what are you getting?………saline! There are other variables that can also affect Botox®. It should never be shaken, it must be stored at the correct temperature, and alcohol will make it ineffective. There are also different injection techniques that can produce different results such as raising or lowering the brows. The doctor injecting the Botox® must know and be able to control this.

As was mentioned, Botox is extremely safe with little if any complications. The one complication that is talked about the most is an eyelid ptosis,or a drooping eyelid. This can be caused by an improper injection in the wrong location or injecting too large of a volume in an area. But in most cases it is caused by the activity of the patient after the injection. Since we instruct all our patients that they must not rub or massage their face, bend, lift or excerise for about 5-6 hours after the Botox® injections, we have not had this problem.In summary, there is no treatment that can improve and remove wrinkles as well as Botox®. As a patient and a consumer, please remember that when deciding on treatment, you must consider how the Botox® is made, how it is stored, how it is being injected and who is doing the injections. Botox® is just the tool, it is who is using it and how it is being use that really matters.