Botulinum toxin type A, BTA, is a purified and sterilized extract from bacteria. Doctors have used BTA for years to treat various medical conditions, especially around the eyes. Another exciting use for BTA is for the improvement in overactive facial muscle contraction. Over time, these active muscles will result in unsightly lines on the face. For example, scowl lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet are some of the most concerning lines for both men and women. These lines or furrows will continue to deepen and worsen with aging.
BTA works by temporarily making these facial muscles unable to contract. Therefore, they are not able to cause deep furrows. BTA is injected into the area of the muscles and takes about two to five days to take effect on the muscle area. Over the following days to weeks, the lines will fade away. The timing to see results varies with the severity of the lines and furrows. They can be quite dramatic and the effects usually last 4 to 6 months.
No matter how well the skin is preserved and pampered, everyone eventually develops facial wrinkles. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to remove the lines that accompany aging. BTA is perhaps the easiest of all these options. BTA is an extremely quick approach to softening or removing the natural wrinkles between the eyes (frown lines), on the forehead, at the sides of the eyes (crow’s feet), or at the base of the nose (glabellar frown lines).
Each day, the muscles between the eyes (frown lines) and on the outside of the eyes (crow’s feet) contract many times. Over time, these muscle contractions create “creases” or wrinkles in the skin. To remove these wrinkles, BTA is injected through a very small needle into the muscles that cause these contractions. BTA essentially impedes the nerve impulse from reaching these muscles. Gradually, the muscles relax and the facial wrinkles soften or disappear. Patients may experience slight discomfort when the needle is inserted and the BTA injected, but this only lasts approximately five to seven seconds. The entire BTA treatment is performed in the physician’s office and lasts 10 to 15 minutes.