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Interview with Dr. Virginia Sanchez on the treatment of expression wrinkles

The Dr. Virginia Sánchez is Head of Dermatology Service. HM Sanchinarro University Hospital. Madrid. We talked to her about botulinum toxin and its effects.

What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin is a protein that relaxes the muscle. Botox has been used in facial aesthetic medicine for the treatment of expression wrinkles for more than 20 years. However, it has been used for more than 40 years for other medical indications such as strabismus.

What effect does it have on the face?

Botulinum toxin has a rejuvenating effect on the face. Together with hyaluronic acid, it is the most widely used anti-aging medical treatment. Produces a selective relaxation of the facial muscles that produce wrinkles between the eyebrows, crow’s feet and forehead. The effect achieved is that of a more natural and relaxed look. It is important to adjust the necessary dosage to the muscles of each person to obtain a natural and aesthetic result.

What are the risks of botulinum toxin?

The toxin has very few risks and in any case they are slight and transitory. The main problem we should be aware of is eyelid drooping or ptosis, which occurs in 0.1 to 1% of cases. In the rare cases in which this occurs, there is a simple treatment to alleviate it. It consists of applying an eye drop every 8 hours, which corrects the eyelid drooping during the days or weeks it lasts. Other minor risks of Botox that are easy to solve are: hematomas, excess muscle relaxation, asymmetries or pointed eyebrows.

How long does it take to take effect?

It takes 48-72 hours for the treatment to take effect, i.e. to start relaxing the muscles. After 10-14 days the effect is complete.

How long does this treatment last?

Botulinum toxin in the face lasts between 3 and 6 months. Its duration is influenced by different factors such as genetics, degree of muscle contraction or thickness of the treated muscle. In general, the area between the eyebrows is the area where the effect lasts the longest.

What other treatments is it recommended to combine it with?

This treatment is applied to the upper third of the face and hyaluronic acid to the middle and lower third. The ideal is to combine both techniques and then enhance them with skin quality improvement treatments such as peeling and vitamins.

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