Dr Bijal Parikh Image Credit: Supplied

The injection botulinum toxin, commonly known as botox, has become very popular for reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the ageing face. Its demand is increasing in Dubai.

The effects are only temporary, but the injections can be done quickly, require no recovery time, and are not as complicated as many other cosmetic procedures for the face. Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum.

It’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism.

We use it in small doses to treat health problems, including temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance, severe underarm sweating, cervical dystonia - a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions, blepharospasm - uncontrollable blinking, strabismus - misaligned eyes, chronic migraine and overactive bladder.

Botox injections work by weakening or paralysing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to 12 months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side-effects are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. You could also have flu-like symptoms, headache, and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids. You should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Botulinum toxin has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating frown lines in adults younger than 65. Within 72 hours after treatment, the injection of Botox partly or completely smooths wrinkles for most people.

Botox injections are more convenient and less painful than other procedures for reducing wrinkles and making your face look younger. Keep in mind that the effect of an injection may last only a few months. To keep the effect, you will have to get injections several times a year.

Your dose, the number of injections, the site of injections, and how often you receive the medication will be determined by your condition and your response to therapy. For 50 units, the cost is around Dh1,100.

The author is specialist plastic surgeon at Bionix Body Designers, Dubai