Botulinum Toxin Beyond Wrinkles
Botulinum toxin is not only for wrinkles.
Botulinum toxin type A is a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum and its action is to block a neurotransmitter (substance essential to transmit an impulse). The neurotransmitter (Acetylcholine) is necessary to stimulate the contraction of muscle fibres. At the facial level, blocking muscle activity or certain muscle fibres results in a decrease in folds or wrinkles, which is why botulinum toxin is widely used in the facial aesthetic field as a rejuvenation option. The areas of application are the following (see fig.1).
Normally, approx. 50 units is of toxin is applied in a session, obviously this can vary depending on the case. There are several brands on the market, including Botox, Azzalure, Bocouture and Xeomin.
Here are some uses of Botulinum toxin other than smoothing of lines and wrinkles.
One popular application of botulinum toxin is in patients with hypertrophy (excessive growth) of the masseter muscle. In these people, the growth of this muscle results in a more "square" or wide facial appearance at the level of the mandibular edge; What this procedure will do is relax the muscle, slimming the area and moving from a "square or "U" facial edge to a finer "V" shape.
Bruxism grinding on a regular basis can damage the teeth and cause other oral health complications. This is an involuntary behaviour and it may even be causing jaw pain, headaches, the wearing away of tooth enamel, gum sensitivity, or chipped teeth. Recent studies published in Neurology and Pain Research and Management have shown that botulinum toxin's muscle relaxing properties have the ability to stop jaw clenching and teeth grinding. At least for some time. Botulinum toxin will be injected into the muscles responsible for moving your jaw, most commonly the masseter muscle, which is responsible for chewing. It may also be injected into the frontalis and temporalis muscles according to your specific needs. Fig2 shows an example of this treatment carried out by Poppy at Asenta Aesthetics.
Relaxing neck muscles sometimes called Nefertiti neck lift, for a more defined neck. The application of botulinum toxin is usually a good option. It is applied to the Trapezius muscle which, by relaxing its fibres, gives the effect of "lengthening the neck".
Neck bands and folds as we age appear more obvious. Horizontal folds due to the sagging of the tissue, as well as vertical bands that appear as columns that go from the area below the chin to the base of the neck, are increasingly evident. The application of botulinum toxin will improve the area and a smoother neck.
Attenuate Bar Code lines or Smokers Lines,
Smokers lines are referred to the formation of vertical wrinkles on the upper lip, the area between the base of the nose and the beginning of the red lip. Although you don't necessarily have to smoke to develop these lines. These wrinkles become more noticeable when contracting the lips and as the years progress. Botulinum toxin partially reduces these wrinkles by applying it specifically to 2 points on either side of the upper lip.
Elimination of depressions in the chin area. Those pesky little dimples on the chin that make the chin look like a dehydrated orange peel can be improved by treatment with Botulinum toxin. 2 areas on either side of the chin is treated to improve these dimples.
Sad smile Raise the lip corner: the lip corner in certain cases is depressed giving the appearance of a sad, tired or even angry. Toxin application to the depressor anguli oris muscle relaxes the fibres and lifts the commissure appropriately. Concomitant application of hyaluronic in the marionette lines may be necessary to complement the procedure.
Facial spasms, blepharospasm, myoclonus: Facial spasms are not very common but they are not rare either, they are involuntary movements, tics that usually affect the facial area, eyelids, tongue, corner of the lips and forehead, lasting from seconds to minutes or in circumstances to maintain the contraction for a period of time which incapacitates the patient to see or perform activities. They can be not only annoying but also painful in certain cases. It is commonly unilateral, meaning that only one side of the face is affected, but it can become bilateral and affect both sides. They are of very specific causes such as neurological, vascular anatomical alterations, or of unknown causes as in Meige Syndrome. As in these cases the muscle function is affected by involuntary contraction, applying botulinum toxin in specific areas can reduce and even partially eliminate these spasms and give the patient calm and confidence.
Prevention of keloid or hypertrophic scarring: Although the use of botulinum toxin to prevent keloid or hypertrophic scarring is recent. Its use is increasing rapidly. It is applied along the edges of the scar in the immediate postoperative period exclusively.
I hope this article has helped in informing you of other Botulinum toxin uses.