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Seven questions you may want to ask your doc about BOTOX®
Seven questions you may want to ask your doc about BOTOX Since its FDA approval in 2002, the use of BOTOX® has soared. Botulinum toxin type A is an extremely useful tool for treating signs of aging. As its applications become clear, so do its limitations, allowing a better awareness about the drug.

Q: Will BOTOX® make me sick?
A: No. Botulinum toxin is a chemical that weakens muscles, allowing the lines formed by their movement to relax. Properly done, local BOTOX® applications to facial muscles are very safe. You may have a headache for a few hours (unlikely) or malaise for a day (very rare).

Q: Can BOTOX® treat headaches?
A: Yes. In a subset of people where the glabellar muscles (between the eyes) are a “trigger” for migraines, weakening these muscles reduces the severity of these headaches.

Q: Does BOTOX® treat wrinkles around the mouth?
A: BOTOX® acts by weakening the muscle so---anywhere you aren’t willing to have a weaker muscle, you should not put BOTOX®

Q: Does BOTOX® limit range of expression?
A: If someone has severe glabellar lines (between the eyes) and always looks angry, do they have a range of expression? In such cases, BOTOX® treatment expands the range by eliminating this overpowering signal. Similarly, if forehead lines make one look chronically tired, relief allows their true vibrancy to ring through.

Q: Is Botox permanent after a while?
A: No, but sort of. As muscles weaken, we use them less. Thus, over time the wrinkles formed by the movement fade (lines between the eyes, forehead, and crows’ feet). Eventually, the muscles do atrophy and we can break long-standing habits of facial expression, resulting in longer duration of benefits.

Q: Is there only one Botulinum toxin type A?
A: No. DYSPORT®, FDA approved in 2009, is a competitor with very similar properties and actions. Although some patients have preferences, there are no clear benefits to one over the other at this time.

Q: What is “pretox?”
A: It’s a technique actors use to have no wrinkles at rest but full use of facial muscles when performing. They receive treatment five to six months prior to filming so when it’s time for “action,” the face is smooth—but anger, sadness, and surprise are able to be expressed. Thus, the muscles were “pretoxed.”

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"Seven questions you may want to ask your doc about BOTOX®"
   authored by:
Plastic Surgery
Scott R. Miller, M.D., F.A.C.S., is Board certified by the American Board of plastic surgery. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego and frequently writes and lectures on Aesthetic Plastic S...



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