We all wish we could turn back the clock and look like our younger selves. With Botox, such a wish becomes reality. While Botox has become a generic term for a certain type of wrinkle-reducing procedure, it’s actually a specific product available only from a doctor. Botox Cosmetic, manufactured by Allergan, is the version used for line and wrinkle eradication. Botox Allergan was approved by the FDA in 2002 to temporarily improve the look of lines and wrinkles. Millions of people have undergone Botox treatment to not only appear more youthful, but refreshed and rejuvenated. It is now the most common non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the nation.
What is Botox?
Botox consists of Clostridium botulinum, a natural substance found in soil. The product contains purified botulinum toxin- hence the name Botox. While botulinum is a neurotoxin, is it safe in the minutes amounts used for cosmetic Botox. After injection into the facial muscles, Botox targets nerve endings, and obstructs the signals from the nerves to muscles. The result is temporary paralysis of the affected muscles, so they no longer contract. The relaxation of the muscle causes wrinkles to disappear.
Botox cosmetic injections don’t require much preparation beforehand, but there are a few things to consider. Let your doctor know when scheduling the appointment about any medications you take. You may have to stop taking certain medications a few days before the appointment, especially any muscle relaxants, as Botox also works as a muscle relaxant. If you take blood thinners and shouldn’t stop temporarily, you may experience more bruising than normal from the injections.
What to Expect
Ice or a numbing gel may be applied to your skin before the injections. Botox is injected superficially, right beneath the skin by the narrowest margins. When administered by skilled hands, patients barely feel the injections. The entire process takes about ten minutes. Avoid rubbing the area afterward, as this may cause Botox to spread away from the injection site.
There’s no downtime for Botox, but don’t walk into the medical office and expect to come out wrinkle-free. Botox takes time to work, but you should notice some difference within five days. Give Botox two weeks, and it should give you back a decade in appearance. The doctor will schedule a follow-up visit at the two-week mark to assess Botox’s effectiveness and possibly inject additional amounts in certain areas.
The effects of Botox initially last approximately three to four months. After that, you can return for another series of injections. Over time, most patients find they require additional sessions every six to eight months.
Most people don’t experience side effects with Botox, other than slight bruising or redness at the injection site, but any procedure has potential risks. A small number of Botox patients may develop more serious side effects. These include:
- Dropping eyelids
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain or stiffness at the injection site
- Spike in blood pressure
- Tooth problems
- Vision issues.
If you experience any side effects in the days following your Botox injection, call our office as soon as possible.
While Botox is synonymous with cosmetic procedures, the non-cosmetic version is used to treat a variety of medical conditions. These include:
- Chronic migraines
- Eyelid spasm – blepharospasm
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle disorders
- Urinary incontinence.
To learn more about Botox treatment or any of our other services, or to make an appointment, call us today at 201-569-0920 or email us.