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Botox Facts

In Canada, Botulinum toxin type A has been approved for the treatment of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, and “frown lines” between the eyes since 2001. Botulinum toxin A, also referred to as onabotulinumtoxinA or Botox, was the initial type A botulism toxin to be approved for cosmetic use and introduced into the market in 2002. 

Botulinum toxin A injection is a minimally invasive and effective treatment for cosmetic issues and other conditions like muscle spasms. It has a wide range of applications and a favourable safety profile. Botox is commonly used to treat facial wrinkles and frown lines, but it also has many other applications, including the treatment of dystonia, blepharospasm, migraine, incontinence and hyperhidrosis. 

BoNT is divided into seven neurotoxins (labelled as types A through G) that are structurally related but differ antigenically and serologically. The primary varieties that cause human botulism are types A, B, E, and (rarely) F. Botulinum toxin type B, a purified version of Botulinum toxin type B, is administered to treat cervical dystonia and sialorrhea by preventing the release of acetylcholine.

Botulinum toxin type A injections for wrinkle smoothing are the most common minimally-invasive aesthetic procedures in the United States. While they are commonly referred to as “Botox,” there are four different BoNT-A injectables that are approved by FDA for cosmetic use. Other Types of BoNT-A injectables include:

  • Dysport - abobotulinumtoxin A
  • Jeuveau - prabotulinumtoxin A
  • Xeomin - incobotulinumtoxin A
  • Botox - onabotulinumtoxin A

Licensed in Canada Since 1990

Botox, a muscle relaxant produced by Allergan Inc., has two applications: medical and cosmetic. Since 1990, it has been approved in Canada for a growing number of medical conditions, including cerebral palsy and facial nerve disorders.

Botulinum toxin injections, also known as Botox, have become extremely popular for curbing wrinkles and revitalizing the aging face. The effects are just temporary; however, the injections are quick and don’t require a recovery time. Botox injections aren’t as complex as many other facial cosmetic procedures.

Clostridium Botulinum bacteria produce the Botulinum toxin. When Botox is injected into a muscle, it inhibits nerve signals that instruct our muscles to contract. The injections temporarily paralyze or weaken the facial muscles and eliminate or smooth wrinkles in the skin. A Botox injection normally takes just a few minutes.

An Effective Treatment for Several Disorders

The uses of Botox fall under two categories: Cosmetic and Medicinal.

For cosmetic purposes, Botox is primarily used to reduce facial wrinkles. Botox injections are among the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States, as reported by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. For example, over 7 million individuals received Botox treatments in 2016. The effects are temporary, often lasting between 3 and 12 months, depending on the specific treatment.

People often use Botox to correct the following areas on the face:

  • Lines that appear at the corner of the mouth 
  • Frown lines, which are wrinkles that appear between the eyebrows
  • Wrinkles around the eyes, commonly known as crow's feet 
  • Cobblestone skin on the chin
  • Horizontal creases that appear on the forehead 

For medicinal uses, Botox is used in the treatment of a variety of medical disorders:


Blepharospasm is a dystonia of the orbicularis oculi muscles that causes excessive eye closure. It can be focal or bilateral. This results in significant disability due to functional blindness. Botulinum neurotoxins are the preferred treatment for blepharospasm, with numerous clinical studies demonstrating an impressive response rate and safety profile.

Botulinum toxin is the mainstay of blepharospasm treatment. Botulinum toxin temporarily paralyzes the muscles into which it is injected. Blepharospasm injections target the muscles around the eyelids as well as the eye itself.

Muscle Spasms 

Spasticity is characterized by an abnormal spike in muscle contraction, which is frequently caused by damage to the central motor pathways, which control movements. Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is a protein that prevents muscle spasms. It is injected directly into the affected muscle. When your muscles contract or move on their own, you have a spasm. It’s more like twitching.

Cervical Dystonia

A brain disorder, cervical dystonia is characterized by uncontrollable neck muscle spasms that result in abnormal neck and head postures and motions. Patients who receive Botulinum toxin injections start noticing the effects three days to 2 weeks later. The Botulinum toxin’s impacts will wear off after about three months.

In the treatment of cervical dystonia, Botulinum toxin type A has been found to be both safe and effective. In cervical dystonia patients, Botulinum toxin injections reduce or eliminate involuntary muscle activity. They also improve control of neck movement, reduce pain, and improve range of motion.

Bladder Dysfunction

Botox could be injected into the bladder to treat an overactive bladder or urge incontinence. This relaxes the muscles, giving you more time to go to the bathroom whenever you need to urinate. The injections are administered in a clinic, and the majority of patients tolerate them well.

Research indicates that Botox is 70% to 80% effective in treating people with sudden urgency-related leakage or urine incontinence.

Chronic Migraines 

Is Botox effective for chronic migraines? Botox treatments have proven to be effective in reducing headache severity and frequency in many chronic migraine patients. Many patients experience more than a 50% reduction frequency and severity of the headaches.

Where is Botox injected for chronic migraines? Botox is injected into seven specific muscle groups around the head and neck to help stop migraine headaches and attacks from occurring. The common areas include the forehead, temples, bridge of the nose, back of the head, neck, and right above your shoulder blades in the upper back. 

Additional disorders treated with Botox injections include:

  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Lazy Eye 
  • Eye Twitching 

The Benefits of Botox Treatment

The key benefits of Botox treatment include the following:

  • Enhances your natural beauty 
  • Treats a wide range of health conditions 
  • It's a fast and non-invasive procedure
  • Nearly immediate results 
  • Customizable treatment options 
  • Fewer side-effects 

Only a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist should administer Botox treatments. When undergoing Botox treatments, patients can request their doctors for a natural and more expressive look. Your doctor can adjust the dose to help you achieve the desired results.

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