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HEALTH Ageing of skin can be stopped

Toxin that helps relax muscles

by Mahmood Saberi Senior reporter
January 9, 2013
Image Credit: Reuters

dubai

If you love to have fun in the sun or are a very happy person who laughs a lot, that’s great. But what’s not great is that your face will age first.

“Exposure to the sun [for a long time] makes the skin dry and causes wrinkles,” says Dr Luiz S. Toledo, consultant plastic surgeon, Mercato Family Clinic, Dubai.

Leading a healthy life, such as not smoking, eating nutritious foods and exercising, he says, helps to some extent in controlling wrinkles. But ageing cannot be stopped and people tend to get frown lines on their forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes (from smiling and laughing) and neck bands under the chin.

Botox is a great favourite among people wanting to smoothen out these creases. A muscle relaxant, Botox is injected to relax (and ‘freeze’) the muscles of the face. However, if too much of the toxin is injected, it will give a person a frozen expression or a shiny face.

Botox is basically a purified form of toxin that is produced by Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. The toxin causes food poisoning (botulism) in its natural form and temporary muscle paralysis of the body if eaten in a large quantity.

Doctors have utilised this property of the toxin to paralyse the muscles in various forms of medicine and in the past two decades it has been used in cosmetic medicine.

In the early 70s it was being tried to treat crossed eyes. An ophthalmologist found a huge decrease in frown lines on a patient who was receiving the injections. He then teamed up with a dermatologist in 1989 to treat frown lines and laugh lines.

According to Dr Toledo, people in their 20s or 30s are also getting Botox shots for smoother skin. We asked him some questions on how the procedure is done and who should get the cosmetic jab.

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