Remember when you were young, and your parents would tell you that if you keep making rolling your eyes your face will get stuck that way. It turns out, there’s a little bit of truth in that, though for completely different reasons. As we age, we tend to develop wrinkles–and those wrinkles themselves become a kind of sign of aging. If you have wrinkles, you must be old. But for some, wrinkles can develop prematurely because of the way your face expresses itself. One way to mitigate those wrinkles is with Botox Injections.
Every day, your muscles contract. This is how you smile, frown, furrow your eyebrows and so on. Sometimes, those muscles get “stuck” in a contracted position, which can cause deep and permanent lines and wrinkles. BOTOX® works by blocking the release of the chemical acetylcholine, which therefore paralyzes the muscles, causing them not to contact. BOTOX® is administered by a healthcare professional as a simple, nonsurgical treatment. It is injected directly into the muscles in the area where the patient desires beautiful results. Once the Botox begins to take effect, the result is a face with less noticeable wrinkles–a more youthful looking face. For this reason, Botox treatments are among the most popular cosmetic surgery treatments in the world.
How Does Botox® Work?
BOTOX® is an outpatient procedure which requires no general anesthesia. Your doctor will select numerous injection points for each location to be treated. The injection sites are where the muscles contract, not necessarily the exact places you are hoping to correct–that is, the doctor may not inject directly into the wrinkle, and that’s by design. While your doctor may choose to numb the area you are getting injected, the pain and discomfort associated with BOTOX® is usually minimal and many patients experience no discomfort at all. In fact, when ice is administered for patients, it’s usually to prevent bruising of any kind.
By paralyzing the muscle, Botox injections make it impossible for that muscle to contract. Therefore, the skin attached to that muscle is no longer folded or pulled into a wrinkle. This works exceptionally well for concentration lines, smile lines, and other wrinkles formed by muscle contractions. Patients are generally so pleased with Botox results that they schedule follow up maintenance appointments in order to maintain the effects.
Where Can it Help?
The primary purpose of Botox injections is to mitigate wrinkles and create a more youthful looking face. However, Botox has proven so adept at that purpose that cosmetic surgeons and researchers have widened the scope of this procedure. Primary, however, Botox is used to treat wrinkles caused by muscle contraction. This is not the same as treating wrinkles caused by loss of volume or excess skin, and as such, Botox should not be used for such purposes. However, Botox is excellent at treating wrinkles caused by muscle contraction.The BOTOX® procedure can work on a number of different areas, most popularly the brow line. Deep lines and wrinkles in the forehead can be treated in just minutes with BOTOX®, and you will begin to see results in just one week.
In terms of the other uses for Botox, there is quite a wide range of treatments available and researched. It is important to discusses any of these off-label uses for Botox with your cosmetic surgeon to ensure that the proper dosage is adhered to. Some of the other uses for Botox include the following:
- BOTOX® has been used at the recommended dose to treat severe underarm sweating
- Botox has been used to treat certain types of muscle spasm problems
- There’s some research that suggests Botox could be used to treat Depression
- Botox has been shown to mitigate some symptoms of TMJ (a jaw condition)
- There’s some evidence that Botox injections can improve overall mood
Of course, many of these need to be followed up by more research. Suffice it to say, medical professionals are finding a wide variety of uses for Botox.
How Popular Is Botox®?
BOTOX® is the first botulinum toxin to be approved by the FDA to temporarily treat moderate to severe glabellar lines between the brows. Since being introduced in the late 80’s, the popularity of BOTOX® has been on the rise. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Botox is one of the most requested non-surgical cosmetic procedures requested every year. In fact, over 6 million Botox procedures were performed in the year 2014 alone. That’s far more than any other cosmetic surgery procedure.
There are many reasons for this popularity. First and foremost, Botox injections get results. Patients who love those results, come back every so often to get maintenance injections. But Botox is also among the most economical options for getting a youthful looking result. As a non surgical alternative to facelift surgery, Botox is far more affordable for many patients. Of course, that wouldn’t mean much if the results weren’t great. Luckily, with Botox, the results are almost always fantastic!
What are the Side Effects?
BOTOX® can cause some serious side effects that can be life threatening. Most commonly, problems with speaking, breathing, or swallowing can occur within the first few weeks after your procedure. If you have breathing problems prior to receiving BOTOX® injections, tell your doctor. The spread of toxins can also result in botulism, but no cases of this have been reported when the doctor used the recommended dosage during the injection process.
- BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) official site. Welcome! (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.botoxcosmetic.com/
- Cassels, C. (2014, June 19). More Evidence Botox Works for Depression. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20140619/botox-depression
- Nichols, H. (2015, October 14). Botox: How Does Botox Work? Retrieved December 15, 2015, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158647.php