Botox treatments are one of the more famous beautification methods of the 21st century. It is mostly used to remove signs of aging such as wrinkles, caused by muscle contractions due to a chemical known as acetylcholine. These muscles contract underneath the skin, creating the folds and lines on the surface. Botox works by disrupting acetylcholine production, consequentially preventing wrinkles.
First things first
Before anything, readers should know that the procedure for Botox treatments is in fact quite easy and safe.
- Botox is administered through an injection or a series of injections in a specified region of facial muscles. Usually, the process requires no anesthesia, although in some cases an anesthetic cream may be applied locally to the skin to be injected.
- The doctor first assesses the need for Botox and then decides on the amount of to be injected into the patient. Using a narrow gauge needle, the doctor simply injects the patient with the Botox solution, causing only minor discomfort to the skin area.
- The most essential part of this process is the selection of the insertion points for the needle. The doctor could select more than one insertion point for the Botox material for a particular area, ensuring better distribution of the solution to the muscles being targeted. The injection need not be targeted at the wrinkle itself, but rather the area of the muscles causing the contractions.
- The doctor marks these insertion points with a marking pencil to ensure accuracy. The affected skin area is then cleaned thoroughly with anti-septic, and the injections are performed. The procedure takes only a short amount of time, ranging from ten to twenty minutes, depending on the extensiveness of the treatment.
- The procedure takes only a short amount of time, thereby earning it the title ‘Lunchtime procedure.’ Although this process seems logistically simple, this remains a medical procedure and should not be performed anywhere but in a doctor’s office. The beautification effects of Botox last from three to six months after the chemical injection.
Like all procedures for beauty and skin care, Botox presents pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. Among the benefits of this treatment are:
- Botox smoothens skin.
Obviously, this is the biggest motivator for undergoing the procedure. After Botox relaxes the facial muscles, the muscle contractions are subdued, eliminating frown lines, brow lines, or even crow’s feet. It should be noted, though, that wrinkle damage caused by the sun or by gravity (loose skin) cannot be solved by Botox.
- Botox is safe.
Since it is non-surgical and non-invasive, it is one of the safer and cheaper cosmetic treatments available. The procedure is basically just injections of the solution into the specific muscle area.
- Botox is for jaw muscles as well.
Treatments can also be used for jaw and calf muscle hypertrophy. It is also used for treating excessive armpit sweating.
There are some unwanted risks and side effects that come from this procedure, such as the following:
- Botox treatments can cause headaches, nausea and on some rare occasions flu-like symptoms.
- Muscle weakness can also be expected, since this procedure aims to block some muscle movements. Drooping of eyelids can occur as well, but only quite rarely, and when the procedure is not done properly and the muscle-relaxing effect affects the neighboring areas of the targeted muscles.
- Some patients experience tingling, swelling, or even bruising around the injected area.
Ease out with the worry
Thankfully these side effects are mild and most importantly temporary. Headaches subside within a day, while bruising heals in a matter of weeks. The more unusual drooping eyelid effect disappears a month or so afterwards.
In the end, the benefits of undertaking the procedure outweigh the possible side effects. There have been no documented cases of severe and/or long-term effects of Botox, making it a very low-risk cosmetic treatment. In fact, most of the side-effects can be avoided by taking necessary precautionary steps, which should be followed before and after the procedure:
- To decrease the amount of bruising, patients should refrain from taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before the procedure.
- Remember to discuss your medical history with the cosmetic surgeon performing the operation to talk about relevant information that can affect the procedure’s outcome and the patient’s health: prescription drugs being taken, existing medical conditions, and pregnancy.
- Avoid touching or rubbing the area treated with Botox for at least twelve hours after the procedure. Refraining from disturbing the area will lower any possibilities of bruising. In fact, most specialists recommend not rubbing the area for up to twelve weeks after the injections.
- It is also important not to lie down for at least four hours after the treatment to prevent the Botox solution from affecting nearby areas outside of the targeted muscles that can lead to muscle drooping. Sleeping with your head elevated higher than your heart is considered the best practice at least for a few weeks after.
The simplicity and directness of the procedure are two main reasons why this procedure has not changed much – if at all – since the beginning. The technology for the production, procedure and demand for this cosmetic drug has remained constant. With image becoming ever so important in today’s world, it looks as though humanity has found a breakthrough in its search for everlasting beauty – Botox is our new Fountain of Use.