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Botulinum Toxin Injections in Plastic Surgery

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Botulinum toxin is a substance derived from bacteria and then purified for use. Read the article to know about botulinum toxin injections in plastic surgery.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Jain Vicky Ghewarchand

Published At February 7, 2023
Reviewed AtJuly 11, 2023


The word ‘botox’ might appear alarming on social media. They are neurotoxins derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. If ingested in large amounts, it can lead to botulism. So botox is made in laboratories.

What Are the Types of Botulinum Toxins?

The commercially available preparations of botulinum toxins are,

  • Onabotulinum toxin A - Botox.

  • Abobotulinum toxin A - Dysport.

  • Incobotulinum toxin A - Xeomin.

  • Rima Botulinum toxin B - Myobloc.

  • Parabotulinum toxin A - Jeuveau.

Both botulinum toxins, type A and B, are approved for human use. Type A toxins are used to treat cosmetic problems, whereas type B is used to treat muscular disorders.

What Are the Uses of Botulinum Toxin Injections?

They are generally used to treat the common signs of aging. They are used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles in areas of the face such as,

  • Between the eyebrows, called the glabellar lines.

  • Horizontal creases in the forehead.

  • Nose.

  • Around the eyes, called the crow’s feet.

  • Lips.

  • Cobblestone skin on the chin.

  • Jawline.

  • Neck.

They are also used to treat,

  • Facial redness and flushing during menopause.

  • Keloids and scars after wound healing.

  • Blistering lesions due to Hailey-Hailey disease.

Which Medical Conditions Can Botox Treat?

Besides cosmetic use, they are used to treat medical conditions as well. The medical conditions that can be treated with Botox are,

  • Strabismus - Crossed eyes.

  • Dystonia - Excessive muscle contractions.

  • Hyperhidrosis - Excessive sweating.

  • Eyelid twitching.

  • Blepharospasm.

  • Chronic migraines.

  • Overactive bladder.

  • Adult spasticity.

  • Raynaud’s disease.

  • Sialorrhoea.

  • Psoriasis.

  • Eczema.

They are also successful in pain management and are good to treat,

  • Back pain.

  • Neck pain.

  • Jaw pain.

  • Nerve pain.

  • Joint pain.

  • Osteoarthritis.

  • Peripheral neuropathy.

  • Temporomandibular joint pain.

  • Post-herpetic neuralgia.

  • Pelvic pain.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

The injection site is examined, and the appropriate botulinum toxin type is selected. Then the area to be injected is applied with a topical numbing agent. Then the botulinum toxin is initially diluted with a saline solution and injected directly into the neuromuscular tissue.

How Does It Work?

The nerve endings release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. This acetylcholine attaches itself to the muscle cells and causes them to contract. The Botox injections inhibit the release of acetylcholine, thereby stopping the muscles from contracting. This leads to temporary paralysis of the muscles, making the muscle less stiff.

How to Prepare for Botox Injection?

The patient can prepare himself by doing the following:

  • Reveal all the medical conditions, the medications taken, and allergies to any substance to the healthcare provider.

  • Avoid taking medications that increase the risk of bruising, such as anticoagulants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Avoid smoking and alcohol at least 24 hours before the procedure.

What Should Be Expected During the Procedure?

The number of issues the individual have determines the number of injections. The feeling of discomfort is the only thing faced during the procedure. The procedure will be initiated with a topical numbing agent to reduce pain and discomfort.

How to Take Care After Botox Injections?

The patient can continue his daily routine immediately after the injection. Avoid strenuous physical activities after the procedure for at least a day. Stay upright for three to four hours. Do not undergo laser treatments and facial massage for one to two weeks after the procedure. These instructions are followed to reduce redness and swelling in the injected area.

How Long Does It Take for a Botox Injection to Work?

The effect of botox injections can be visible around the third to the fourth day. However, the complete results can be visible within ten to fifteen days.

How Long Does Botox Last, And How Frequently Can a Person Have Them?

The frequency of getting a botox injection has to be discussed with the healthcare provider, who would suggest the frequency based on the severity of the condition. Generally, the effects of a botox injection would last for three to four months. Retreatment can be done immediately or after a period, depending on the healthcare provider's advice.

What Are the Side Effects of Botox Injections?

The side effects produced depend on the area being treated. The possible side effects of botox injections are,

  • Pain.

  • Swelling.

  • Redness.

  • Flu-like symptoms.

  • Headache.

  • Neck pain.

  • Indigestion.

  • Ptosis - Temporary drooping of eyelids.

  • Eye irritation.

  • Dry eyes.

  • Worsening of neuromuscular disorders.

  • Double vision.

  • Corneal ulceration.

  • Arrhythmia.

  • Myocardial infarction.

Who Are Not Ideal Candidates for Botox Injections?

  • Pregnant women.

  • Breastfeeding mothers.

  • Individuals with neuromuscular disorders.

  • Individuals with ptosis.

  • Individuals with weak facial muscles.

  • Individuals with infection at the injection site.

  • Individuals with a sensitivity or allergy to botox injections.

What Is the Difference Between Dermal Fillers and Botox Injections?

Botox injections stop muscle contractions from reducing the wrinkles and fine lines caused by it. But dermal fillers are injections used to fill the area with skin volume and smoothness loss. Since botox and dermal fillers have different modes of action, they can be used in combination to treat different areas of the face.


As one can explore, botox injections have extreme effects in treating the signs of aging and other medical conditions. Celebrities commonly use it to mask their skin flaws. If a person also wants to give the skin a flawless look, they should contact the best dermatologist, who will tell them all about the risks and benefits of the procedure and other alternatives.

Dr. Jain Vicky Ghewarchand
Dr. Jain Vicky Ghewarchand

plastic surgery-reconstructive and cosmetic surgery


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