Ask the Doctor: How Does Botox© Work?

Botox Before and AfterBotox©, or botulinum toxin, is an injectable medication that stops muscles from moving over a short-term period, usually 3-4 months. In order for muscles to move, they must receive a signal, a chemical transmitter, which attaches to a receptor on the muscle and gives it the signal to contract. Botulinum toxin stops the release of that transmitter, so the muscle cannot move. In nature, though rare, this toxin is considered one of the most deadly toxins, because it can cause the muscles that help you breath to stop working. Over time, and after having been studied and perfected for almost 50 years now, Botox has become the number one cosmetic treatment the world over. Injected in very small doses, this medication can not only treat lines and wrinkles around the forehead, between eyes and the crows feet, but can also prevent the formation of new ones!

Botox is not only a cosmetic treatment, however. The first uses for Botox were for an eye muscle condition called strabismus. Spasms of the eye, migraines, large muscle movement disorders and voice tremors can also be treated with this effective and life-impacting drug.

The indications, both FDA-approved and not approved, for this medication are ever increasing. The key, however, is to ensure your treatment is performed in the very safest way possible. In order to save money, patients may frequent medical spas, attend “Botox” parties, sign up at dental offices, or other non-surgical specialties, thinking Botox at one place is the same as any other. In truth, the risks of having an injection into the wrong muscle group, or at too high a dose, can be far too great to engage in this type of cost cutting.

Make sure you undergo your injections with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who performs injections on a regular basis, and has the understanding of underlying facial and neck musculature before undergoing treatment. Ask any questions that may concern you prior to your treatment as well as noting any precautions for after being injected. Botox is one of the most-studied medications we use today and has positively impacted the lives of many patients, both cosmetic and otherwise. When used safely, the vast majority is extremely pleased and loves their fresher and more youthful appearance.

If you are considering Botox©, or facial fillers, let the board certified physicians of the Emory Aesthetic Center help you decide what treatment is best for you.

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About Dr. Sethna

Anita Sethna, MDAnita Sethna, MD, understands that facial plastic and reconstructive surgery demand a marriage of science and artistry, and she enjoys using precision, skill, and vision to make her patients’ dreams reality. Dr. Sethna’s meticulous attention to detail and her passion for maintaining a natural look ensure optimum results for her patients. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Sethna is devoted to assisting residents in facial trauma or reconstructive cases at Grady Hospital. She relishes the opportunity to educate residents and medical students in all aspects of patient care. Dr. Sethna has a strong interest in several areas of facial plastic surgery research and has presented at national meetings on the importance of resident and fellow education in rhinoplasty techniques and adjunctive measures to decrease discomfort during cosmetic procedures.

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