Botulinum Toxin A was first used therapeutically in 1989 to treat eye disorders, such as crossed eyes and uncontrollable eye blinking or twitching. While treating these patients, it was noticed that the vertical frown lines between the eyebrows, known as the glabellar lines, appeared to soften. Doctors then realised that Botox had cosmetic implications and could be used to block the nerves that trigger wrinkle-causing muscle contractions between the brows, creating a smoothed appearance.
All wrinkles are not equal. There are two types. Dynamic wrinkles are formed by the repeated muscle contraction involved in facial movement, such as laughing or frowning, while static wrinkles are formed by the usual ageing process. Dr Bakaric says frown lines are the most popular area to treat with Botox, followed by crow’s-feet.
Peop;e who repeatedly scrunch their nose, may end up with lines on the side of the nose often called "bunny lines". These lines can be softened with Botox.
Using Botox on the lower half of the face is less common than treating frown lines. “This area of the face is harder to treat with Botox and, if it’s not done properly, can affect the symmetry of the face, causing it to look like it’s had a stroke,” says Dr Peter Bakaric of The Collagen Face Centre.
The downturned lines that extend from the corner of the mouth toward the chin are known as marionette lines and tend to give the face a sad look.
The Nefertiti Lift aims to give more angularity to the jawline and is named after the famed Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, known for her swan-like neck.
New to the market in Australia is another muscle-relaxing cosmetic treatment called Dysport. As with Botox, it works by blocking the nerve impulses to the injected muscles responsible for causing the lines between the eyebrows or the crow’s-feet, allowing these muscles to relax and the overlying wrinkles to soften.
It is important to remember that Botox, while quick, simple and widely accepted in the marketplace, is still a medical procedure, and as such may have side effects or complcations.