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Botulinum Neurotoxin

Botulinum Neurotoxin Treatment – Efficacy and Safety

Botulinum neurotoxin is a protein neuromodulator produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  It is commonly known as a muscle relaxant (or muscle paralysis) and is used in medical conditions as well as aesthetic indications such as to relax wrinkles. Botulinum Neurotoxin is also used to treat non- muscle-related conditions such as excessive sweating and scars

Medical uses of Botulinum Neurotoxin

  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Eyelid spasms (blepharospasm)
  • Neurological movement disorder (cervical dystonia)
  • Spasticity
  • Overactive bladder
  • Achalasia – problem in the throat which makes swallowing difficult

Aesthetic uses of Botulinum Neurotoxin

  • Botulinum Neurotoxin to treat facial wrinkles: forehead lines, crow’s feet, frown lines, marionette lines, bar codes on upper lips, chin crease
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin for brow lift
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin for facial slimming
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin to treat temporal-mandibular joint(TMJ) disorders and associated jaw tension and pain: Relieves the soreness and discomfort and jaw tension
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin to treat excessive sweating in the underarms and palms
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin to treat migraine
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin is used after surgery to reduce scar formation and also as part of the treatment for scars and keloids
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin lift
  • Microbotox of skin to minimise pores and reduce oiliness
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin for body slimming: to create a long and slim neck and shoulder line, to slim arm and calf muscles
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin for salivary glands
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin for neck contouring
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin to relax neck wrinkles and platysma bands

Botulinum Neurotoxin – Mechanism of action

  • Botulinum Neurotoxin acts on the muscle endplate to prevent the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from the nerve endings to the neuromuscular junction ( muscle endplate) This results in paralysis of the muscle
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin acts on the sympathetic nerves and skin to reduce pore size, skin oiliness and to tighten the skin
  • Botulinum Neurotoxin acts on the salivary glands and sweat glands to reduce the secretion of saliva or sweat and glandular size

Botulinum Neurotoxin Procedure

  • The Botulinum Neurotoxin powder is reconstituted with normal saline
  • The reconstituted Botulinum Neurotoxin is injected into the muscles or skin or the target tissue
  • You may feel a tiny pinprick sensation. Usually, no anaesthesia is required
  • You will start to see effects within a day or two with the maximal effect seen in 2 weeks. In some, the effect is seen at 4 weeks when muscle atrophy starts to show

Botulinum Neurotoxin – Side-effects and complications

Botulinum toxin is very toxic but Botulinum Neurotoxin is manufactured to contain very minute amounts of toxin, making it safe and effective in therapeutic and aesthetic dosages. However, as in any drug, side effects may occur but they are not common.

Early side-effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin injection

  • Injection site reactions such as pain, stinging, burning, swelling, bruises
  • Mild localised headaches

Uncommon side-effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin injection

  • Numbness, paraesthesia and twitching
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mild nausea and occasionally vomiting
  • Stomach upset
  • Mild malaise and feeling unwell
  • Myalgia
  • General weakness after treatment of neck muscles(cervical dystonia)

Serious side-effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin injection

  • Immediate hypersensitivity presenting as hives, shortness of breath
  • Allergy to the protein, lactose, sodium succinate in the Botulinum Neurotoxin

Complications of Botulinum Neurotoxin injection related to treatment technique

  • Eyebrow asymmetry
  • Quizzical or “spock” eyebrow
Botox Injection
  • Excessive elevation of brow
Botox Treatment
  • Droopy eyebrow (brow ptosis)
  • Lack of expression
  • Droopy eyelids (eyelid ptosis)
Droopy Eyelid Treatment by Botox
  • Upper eyelid swelling
Botox Treatment
  • Eye complications like double vision, reduced tearing
  • Difficulty swallowing, speaking
  • Asymmetric smile
Botox for Smile Lines - Dermatologist

The content provided on this website is meant to supplement, not replace, the guidance of a doctor. It is not a substitute for their professional advice or consultation. If you need further information kindly get a consultation with Dr Joyce Lim.