Botox treatment is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the appearance of wrinkles in the forehead, around the lips and chin, and around the eyes. It is derived from a toxin that is produced from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox does not permanently erase wrinkles or stop any new ones from forming; however, the appearance of tighter muscles in the facial area that has been treated can last up to four months from the time of injection. The pain is generally minimal and does not last beyond a week from the initial injection.
Wrinkles are caused by the depletion of collagen, loss of natural oils that consequently make the skin look drier, and the fat underneath the skin that begin to diminish which will make the skin look loose and saggy. It is a natural part of aging but there are also many preventable factors such as sun damage, daily stress, smoking, or too much sugar that also contribute to the development of wrinkles. Botox treatment can help to temporarily reduce these wrinkles, making them less visible.
Receiving a Botox injection is a fairly quick procedure that takes just a few minutes and requires no anesthesia. Some physicians may numb the area with anesthetic cream or a cold pack before beginning treatment. A fine needle, used to minimize pain and discomfort, injects the Botox directly into the muscles surrounding the chin, lips, forehead, and nose to temporarily weaken or paralyze the muscles so that they are no longer able to contract. Patients may experience a sting at the moment of injection but lingering pain is typically uncommon.
There are very few side effects associated with Botox injections. The most commonly reported side effects include nausea and temporary droop among the eyelid. Other side effects such as tenderness, inflammation, redness, and swelling around the treated area may occur for a short period of time after injection. People who have infections around the area of treatment should not use Botox as it can cause more serious side effects. Individuals who are pregnant, breast feeding, or who may be allergic to any of the ingredients in Botox should avoid Botox treatment.
The risk of side effects increases if the injections are administered improperly. A licensed healthcare provider can administer Botox although it is advised to ensure that the provider is experienced to guarantee the most positive results. The most experienced doctors who may offer Botox injections include dermatologists, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, and other physicians who specialize in cosmetic procedures.
Botox treatment is generally intended for individuals who are between 18 and 65 years of age. Many people begin seeing improvements in their appearance in just a few days of treatment. Patients can get injections done quickly and discreetly with virtually no recovery time, making Botox extremely desirable to many people.
Botox treatment is relatively affordable compared to many other cosmetic procedures. Injections are not permanent; treatments must be administered around every four months or so to keep the desired look or the facial muscles will gradually look like they did before treatment. It is important to keep realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the treatment as individual results may vary.