What Do You Know About Botox?
Botox has been used clinically for various purposes since 1989. It is actually a purified version of botulinum toxin, a bacterial substance that can be used to treat humans medicinally. Its main course of action is that it decreases muscle activity by blocking the release of acetylcholine. Given in tiny doses and injected directly into the muscles that are underneath the wrinkle or line, it weakens and relaxes the muscle, giving the skin a smooth surface where it is injected for a period of up to three months’ time. People usually want botox to decrease lines in their face, such as crow’s feet, frown lines and other facial impressions. It is one of the most common cosmetic non-surgical procedures and has been so since 2005 when a total of more than eight million procedures were performed in the United States alone.
Advantages of Botox:
Botox injection takes about thirty minutes and causes very little, if any, discomfort. The final effect is a smoothing of the wrinkled area and a more youthful look. Botox is most effective at alleviating lines and wrinkles on the upper third portion of the face such as the lines between eyebrows, frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It can be used together with other wrinkle fillers for an even more effective outcome. When injected into the lower eyelid, it gives a wide-eyed look that many women desire. Injected into the bottom of the nasal septum can give one that “ski-slope” look that is desirable. Besides filling in lines, Botox has a wide variety of other, “off-label” uses.
Disadvantages of Botox:
Because Botox does not last for more than three to five months at a time, you must get the injections about three times a year in order to maintain the desired appearance. This can become expensive, with each treatment costing upwards of five hundred dollars. Desired results can take about seven days to four weeks to take full effect, quite a long wait for some people to endure. There are also possible side effects from the use of Botox. Patients have been reported to experience droopy eyelids, a result of the muscle being so relaxed that it cannot lift itself. Also common side effects are headaches and some nausea. Other less common side effects include weak muscles, pain at the injection site, inflamed and tender areas of the skin or muscle, and swelling at the injection site.
Botox is manufactured by various pharmaceutical companies but all variations of the drug last about three to five months before it is necessary to get another injected dose.