• What is Botox?

    What is known today as Botox is actually a toxin produced by the bacterium botulinum. Botulinum toxin was initially marketed under the brand name Botox by Allergan, a US-based company. Today, most people in Iran refer to any botulinum toxin produced by different manufacturers as Botox. By affecting the neuromuscular system, Botox loosens your muscles.

    Higher doses (for example, through food poisoning) can be lethal. However, it is totally safe to use Botox at small doses. Different companies produce and pack botulinum toxin and brands commonly known in Iran include Dysport and Neuronox.

    Applications and injection spots on the face

    Botox can be injected into any extremely contracted muscle to loosen it. For example, spasms in the arm or leg may lead to dysfunction or spasms in head or facial muscles can intensify migraines. Botox can be used in such cases to control the muscles involved in these spasms.

    However, applications of Botox are not limited to muscular application as it is also used to decrease armpit sweating, secretions in salivary glands, etc.

    Cosmetic applications of Botox include cases where muscle contractions create facial wrinkles. The best spots for Botox injection are the forehead (particularly frown lines) and areas around the eyes. Botox can also be injected into other areas such as areas around the lips, the chin, and the nose. However, care should be taken in these cases to prevent undesirable results.

 

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Who should use Botox?

If you look closely to someone’s face you will see that some wrinkles can be normally seen at any time. Such wrinkles are called static wrinkles. There are some other wrinkles which can only be observed when someone smiles or frowns. These are called dynamic wrinkles. Botox best affects dynamic wrinkles. Therefore, people with this type of wrinkles can achieve better results using Botox.

How long does Botox last?

Botox usually lasts for 3 to 6 months in average. It should be noted, however, that volume and strength of muscles differ from one person to another. Based on these differences, individuals can be classified into three groups. Individuals in the first group have weaker muscles and superficial wrinkles. Botox sometimes lasts for even one year after injection for this group.

People in the second group have very strong muscles and deep wrinkles. In this case, Botox may only last for 1 to 2 months. For the third group, which is somewhere between the groups mentioned above, Botox will last for 3 to 6 months. To obtain the best results, it is better to have initial injections at small intervals. Your doctor can determine best timing for the next injection.

Brands and differences

Different manufacturers use different brands to market Botox. Botulinum toxin was originally marketed by Allergan, a US-based company, under the brand name Botox, and that is why it is often referred to as Botox. However, original Botox cannot be easily found in Iran. Other similar brands include Dysport (made in England) and Neuronex (Made in Korea). Different brands have different strengths. For example, 3 to 4 units of Dysport had the same effect of a single unit of Botox. This does not mean that Dysport is not effective enough; rather, it means that Dysport should be injected at doses 3 or 4 times the dose at which Botox is used. This should also be noted for other brands.

There are other types known as “Chinese Botox” which are marketed as brands produced not by China but by other countries. Some well-known brands have also been copied by the Chinese. Results presented in websites on effectiveness and side effects of these Chinese products are mixed. Some claim that these are ineffective and may lead to premature aging. Others say that these are very effective and should be used for patients.

To be fair, according to the scientific and experimental findings, many of these differences in opinions stem from financial profit. Importers of well-known brands try to scare you away from cheaper brands in order to sell more of their own products. On the other hand, importers of Chinese Botox use well-known brands on their products to increase their sales. This totally confuses consumers. I believe that brands do not matter since most of them work and side effects are often the result of improper injection or preserving methods. What matters is that when you pay for a certain brand you get the same brand, not some cheaper one. And you should select the brand you want to use based on an informed decision.

Is it painful?

Botox injection is usually painless and the extreme pain some people feel is caused by preparation and injection methods. Your doctor can tell you more about the ways you can reduce mild pains caused by Botox injection.

Where can I find Botox?

Your doctor is usually responsible for supplying Botox. However, you can also buy one by prescription and only pay injection costs. Some people believe that it is better to purchase Botox from pharmacies as in this case they can buy original brands (not the fake ones). In any case you should keep Botox at a cold place preferably next to ice cubes.

Costs and injection

Prices vary depending on the brand and exchange rate of foreign currencies like dollar and Euro. You can call +98-21-22130740 to gain more information about approximate prices. If you bought it from a pharmacy, you will have to pay something around IRR 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 for injection into your forehead and around your eyes.

Post injection care

The following should usually be noted after injection:

  1. Use cold compress for a few hours after injection (this helps reducing bruises and swelling caused by injection)
  2. Do not lie down for 4 hours after injection.
  3. Avoid exposure to heat for 4 hours. Do not take a hot or steam bath.
  4. Do not massage the area for a few hours but it is good to gurn, mug, frown, or raise your eyebrows.
  5. You can take a shower or apply cream powders for makeup few hours after the injection.

Do not worry if you have not observed the points noted above as they often do not have great impact on the final outcome.

How long before Botox results can be seen?

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Results gradually appear two or three days after the injection in the form of reduced movement of muscles and removed wrinkles. The results can be best seen in one to two weeks and will last for months depending on the dosage and type of your muscles.

To have longer lasting effects for your next injection, get the next injection immediately once the effects of the previous injections start to disappear (i.e. when wrinkles start to come back). In this way, muscles weakened by previous injections will not have time to restore their strength and Botox effects on weaker muscles will last for a longer time.

Contraindications and cautions

  1. Previous allergies. Since some types of allergies are caused by antigens produces in Botox manufacturing process, other brands can be cautiously used to prevent allergies. However, allergy tests should be conducted prior to injection.
  2. Caution should be taken for using Botox in patients with a history of neuromuscular diseases (e.g. Myasthenia gravis).
  3. No study has yet been conducted on using Botox during pregnancy and lactation. Although theoretically it causes no particular problem, it is better to avoid using Botox during pregnancy and lactation.
  4. Do not inject Botox into wounded or infected areas. It is better to wait until such areas are healed.