Botulinum toxin, often referred to as Botox®, is one of the most widely studied medical aesthetic injected treatments. It is made from a neurotoxin that is produced by botulinum toxin and is used to cosmetically reduce the appearance of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles.
Botox is in huge demand and has proven to be a valuable therapeutic protein when the dosage and frequency of treatment are considered. Botulinum toxin is injected into the skin in extremely small concentrations and stops the signals travelling from the nerve cells to the muscles, leaving them paralyzed. Botox is predominantly used as an aesthetic treatment in older adults, but has also been found to be useful in treating several medical conditions such as migraines, eye squints, excess sweating, muscle spasticity, and leaky bladders.
Botulinum toxin can be used as a wrinkle treatment to smooth:
- Horizontal forehead lines
- Vertical frown lines
- Smoker’s lines around the mouth
- Vertical neck cords
- Lift the corners of the mouth
- Smooth the “pin cushion” look in the chin
When performed correctly, Botox injections should provide you with a more youthful look. The results typically take a few days to start to show, however, they continue to improve over a two week period and last for about four months.
Who should consider Botox?
Now that Botox has become more common and less controversial, even young women use it as a preventative measure rather than fixing an existing problem. Some doctors recommend women in their mid-twenties to use Botox to reduce their facial muscle overexpression. This is a genetic factor in some people, so it does not apply to everyone in their twenties. Using Botox in your twenties can help train your facial muscles to stay relatively still, which will prevent future skin wrinkling.
People often opt to get Botox in their thirties because this is when you typically start noticing fine lines developing, especially between the brows and around the eye area. Botox can erase the finer lines in a person who is in their thirties, as long as it is maintained every few months.
After your thirties, your skin begins to thin more rapidly, making wrinkles far more obvious. There is also a bit of volume loss in the middle of the face after your thirties, which Botox can improve.
Special Considerations, Risks and Recovery
The process of receiving Botox injections is typically quick and easy. Your practitioner will just make a few injections in the treatment areas and most patients report having minimal pain. While there may be a bit of initial mild redness, bruising, or swelling, it should resolve quickly. The reaction is not unlike getting a shot at your regular physician.
If Botox is injected correctly, most patients do not have any further issues. However, if it is injected incorrectly, there is a possibility of the Botox spreading too far and impacting some muscles that it was not intended to. This can result in long-term effects, such as a droopy eyelid. If you do experience a complication from receiving a Botox injection or you are not satisfied with your results, the only option you have is to wait it out. The Botox will wear off in around four months.
Botox should not be used in people who have developed an infection at the injection site or those with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to a botulinum toxin preparation or any of its components. Talk to your plastic surgeon about any additional side effects that you may experience from Botox treatments.
It is important to note that botulinum toxins are not able to fix every skin problem. For example, it is not used to repair sun damage or acne scars. Your genetics and the degree of wrinkling play a large role in determining the effectiveness of Botox treatments. It is best to consult a qualified and reputable plastic surgeon to evaluate your skin and the possible benefits of this treatment for you.
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