Botox – everything you should know about it!

The mood is wonderful. There are bellinis, tartes and macarons, people are talking and laughing. What looks like a Tupper party turns out to be a Botox event. Instead of a kitchen accessory salesman, a Botox specialist talks about the many benefits of the anti-wrinkle drug. Most of the time, you can also get treated right away at such events.

In the meantime, however, there are not only Botox parties, there are also Botoxabos and Botox-to-go stations with flat rates for a year – Botox as often as you like. Under the keyword Botox, you can find almost 45 million entries on Google. Botox, it seems, has arrived in the social normality. But do Botox parties and flat rates make sense? How safe is Botox and what is new, worth knowing about the neurotoxin or new technology for Botox injections to report?

What is Botox and how does it work?

The wrinkle-smoothing effect of botulinum toxin was discovered by Canadian ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers in 1987 as a side effect in a patient being treated for uncontrollable eye twitching. Since the first scientific study of the wrinkle-smoothing effect of the drug botulinum toxin type A, it is impossible to imagine aesthetic medicine without it. A real Botox boom has made its way and called many providers on the market, which differ among other things in the prices. But how do I recognize a good and reputable practitioner, what is Botox used for in the meantime and what is there to consider during treatment? One thing right away: the more precisely Botox is applied, the more individual the result.

Botox – the substance for all cases?

Asking experts. “Right off the bat. Botox is a blessing for us as aesthetic physicians, as essential as paint is for painters,” explains dermatologist and head of the Rosenpark Clinic Dr. Gerhard Sattler. “Botox parties, flat rates and Botoxabos, however, make no sense at all. On the one hand the nerve poison always belongs into the hands a specialist and on the other hand Abos and Flatrates seduce only to superfluous and nonsensical treatments. There are obviously physicians, who see themselves rather as businessmen, than as responsible physicians , so the Dermatologe further.

Aesthetic use of Botox

Anti-aging for menBy any measure, botulinum toxin is the undisputed best seller in the aesthetic medicine market. The clientele is steadily growing, and getting younger. Worldwide, botulinum injections rank number one among beauty treatments, and men are catching up as well. Botox has been officially permitted for the cosmetic treatment of frown lines since 2002. At that time, the strict U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to the Botox preparation from the company Allergan. The effect is simply explained: Botox treatments can influence muscle tone in such a way that mimic stress on the skin is reduced. This smoothes the skin and gives it a relaxed and rejuvenated appearance.

Botox against frown line

Our author Angelika Brodde finally wanted to know: How does it feel to be treated with Botox? A field report.www.marinajagemann.comHowever, the superstar of aesthetic medicine has long since been injected for more than just frown lines. Experienced doctors are very creative when it comes to using the nerve agent. “For example, a downward-pointing nose tip can be lifted with it by relaxing the muscle under the nose,” explains Hamburg dermatologist Dr. Susanne Steinkraus, and Dr. Sattler notes, “The calves can be slimmed down by specifically blocking individual strands of the calf muscle. This can reduce the circumference of the calves by up to four centimeters.” The same is true for overly beefy upper arms – the injections slim the muscles without restricting movement. This works especially well for young women; in older women, the loss of volume in the upper arm leads to an unsightly excess of remaining skin.

“Botulinum toxin can also be used to smooth wrinkles around the mouth, minimize nasolabial folds, lift eyebrows minimize wrinkles on the neck or combat hair loss. It is also successfully used against excessive sweating. Especially armpits, hands but also upper lip and forehead are good indications,” emphasizes Dr. Steinkraus.

Treatment of the nasolabial fold with fillersAnd how does it feel when Botox is injected for the first time? Are there still prejudices against the neurotoxin and what are the experiences with the treatment? “Patients are very enlightened and have little fear of contact when they undergo treatment for the first time,” explains Munich dermatologist Dr. Elisabeth Schumachers on the subject of “My first Botox”.

Medical use of botulinum toxin

So much for the range of treatments in the field of aesthetics. But the triumph of botulinum toxin goes far beyond that. Did you know that one third of adults have problems with teeth grinding at some point in their lives? Women between the ages of 30 and 45 are especially affected, unaware of their nocturnal cherry. Sometimes dental problems are the reason, but often it is simply overwork and stress.

A gummy smile is when too much gum is visible when you laugh. Botox injections can help against this.“In the long term, it’s not just the jaw and teeth that suffer; in some cases, the entire facial symmetry gets out of joint because the masseter muscle has become so strong that the respective half of the face appears swollen,” explains Dr. Schuhmachers. “In our practice, we have had good experience with relaxing the external masseter muscle with botulinum toxin, which slims the face and makes it appear softer again,” the dermatologist continues. Even a so-called “gummy smile,” when too much gum is visible when laughing, can be treated with it.

“In addition, botulinum toxin is excellent for tension headaches and spinal migraines . I have some happy patients who had massive problems for years and are now appearance-free,” the doctor is pleased to say.

Injection against depression

Quite astonishing are also the results in connection with depression. The “Journal of Psychiatric Research” reports that Botox even helps against depression: “We have shown in a randomized controlled trial that a single injection of botulinum toxin into the glabellar region can alleviate the depressive syndrome quickly, significantly and persistently,” report psychiatrists Prof. Axel Wollmer and Prof. Tillmann Kr├╝ger. The “facial feedback” theory has been around for a long time, according to which the mimic muscles do not show emotions, but also influence them. Dermatologists had also already observed that anti-wrinkle treatment in the frown line had a mood-lifting effect far beyond what could be expected.

Is it possible? Lose weight with Botox?

Woman measures her abdominal girth with meter measureAnd finally, and even a “botulinum diet” could be in the offing. Studies are underway to lose weight with the help of the neurotoxin. This involves immobilizing the stomach muscles, which slows emptying, increases the feeling of satiety, and thus reduces weight. Study results have yet to prove whether this really makes sense.

Scientists at the University of Science and Technology Norway injected Botox into the lower stomach of 20 subjects with a severely elevated body mass index of between 35 and 40 (people are considered overweight when they reach 25). For this purpose, an endoscope was inserted into the stomach via the mouth. Six months later, another Botox injection was administered. This was to block the so-called vagus nerve, which communicates the feeling of hunger to the brain.

The result: after one year and two Botox shots, 70 percent of the subjects, or 14 people, had lost an average of about 17 percent weight. After 18 months and three Botox injections, about 75 percent reported weight loss averaging as much as 28 percent. Sounds like a promising method?

Risks of Botox

Dr. Martha Bernard runs a practice in Munich as a specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery. She has been working with Botox for over 15 years and says: “It would be all the rage if it were possible. There are now many areas of application for botulinum toxin, such as for bladder weakness or sphincter disorders. However, every medical product, such as breast implants, and also the applications require approvals, such as FDA approval (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). This is subject to strict rules and long, scientific testing.”

Botox for depression, laughing woman as example image.The conducted study on the treatment of obesity with Botox, as the scientists themselves emphasized, is still very small. The result must be verified by further, scientific tests. But even if this approval succeeds, it is not a panacea for obesity treatment. Expert Dr. Bernard points out, “Botox is transient, it breaks down after a few months. That means the obese patient may have lost ten kilos and six months later it starts all over again.” So it’s still too early to banish the running shoes to the basement.

And finally, some good news: “Botox is one of the safest agents in aesthetic medicine, as shown by over 2000 studies, and is a protein that is completely broken down by the body. Therefore, there are no known long-term side effects,” says Dr. Sattler. And Dr. Steinkraus also emphasizes, “Botolinum toxin can do much more than just smooth wrinkles; it is a safe and approved drug and thus much better than its reputation!”