Botox Hits the One Million Mark
As the quest for the eternal, youthful looking face continues, research has revealed that the number of Botox treatments every year has broken the one million mark. The popularity of the anti-aging procedure has grown rapidly, despite well-documented horror stories of unwanted side effects and the ‘frozen face’ look where, while the wrinkles may be ironed out, the inability to move facial muscles leads to a visage devoid of expression.
Recently some high-profile celebrities say they have turned their back on these injectable treatments but others revel in the constant plumping and smoothing effects in the desire to preserve their looks.
Figures released by retail analysts Mintel show that in the last year there has been an increase of 15% over the previous year’s number in the number of women having Botox, lip plumping and other similar treatments. A Mintel spokesman said, “With high profile celebrities choosing to help nature with fillers and lifts, non-surgical procedures have never been so popular as numbers have passed the one million barrier for the first time in 2009.”
How it works
Botox achieves wrinkle-free skin by effectively paralysing the muscles in the face.
Very small amounts of the protein are injected directly into the wrinkled areas including crows’ feet around the eyes, forehead and frown lines. It acts to block signals from the brain to the muscle. As the muscle weakens and is unable to contract, the skin above relaxes and smoothes out, and so the wrinkle ‘disappears’.
To a large extent, the popularity of treatments such as Botox comes from the convenience factor. As an alternative to invasive surgical options, such as facelifts, Botox can be injected easily and quickly with little recovery time required. So it’s easy to roll back the years in your lunch hour.
Also, it’s kinder on the bank balance than full-scale surgery, although the injections do need to be repeated every few months to maintain the youthful appearance. Unlike other anti-wrinkle treatments promising smoothing properties that are available from high street beauty counters, its effects are almost immediate, with improvement visible within just a few days of the treatment being administered.
Despite the scare stories in which some celebrities have been left disfigured by these kinds of procedures, Botox is generally a safe and effective treatment. There is a slight risk of some side effects including Botox moving to neighbouring muscles, occasionally resulting in such problems as dropping eyelids. However these are temporary and wear off after a few weeks.