Should I get Botox?
What is Botox?
Everyone has probably heard of Botox at one point or another, but many people who have never had a Botox treatment don’t know much about how it works. Botox is the leading brand name of a toxin produced by clostridium botulinum. Some of you will recognize that bacterium as a type of food poisoning.
Those who experience botulinum food poisoning will experience paralysis, which is how scientists discovered that clostridium botulinum could be used to induce controlled paralysis in troublesome musculature.
What is Botox used for?
When used in small amounts and heavily diluted, this toxin can target individual facial muscles and temporarily weaken them. This practice successfully treats wrinkles and facial creases that are caused by regularly contracted facial muscles, like glabellar lines between the eyebrows.
Botox isn’t just for crow’s feet and frown lines, though. Uncontrolled blinking and lazy eye can also be treated successfully with Botox. It has even been used to relax uncontrollable bladders, eliminating incontinence in some patients.
How does Botox work?
Botox works by blocking communication between muscles and nerves. The nerves can no longer tell the muscle to contract, so it remains in a flaccid paralyzed state. This relaxation of the muscle softens and reduces the related wrinkles.
It takes only a moment to inject each of the targeted muscles with Botox. The needle used is very fine, so no anesthesia is needed in most cases. Less than a week after your treatment, the Botox will take full effect, and you’ll see maximum wrinkle release.
It is advised that you avoid alcoholic beverages for a minimum of seven days leading up to your treatment. To prevent excessive bruising, it’s also a good idea to stay away from aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for two weeks leading up to your treatment.
How long do the effects of Botox last?
Botox can last up to six months. When wrinkles start to reappear, it’s time to have another treatment done. Although the lines and wrinkles will reappear, they usually appear finer and less noticeable each time, because the related muscles are learning to fully relax. Between treatments, you won’t be causing further lines and wrinkles in those areas, because you won’t be able to crease your skin.
Are there any side effects from using Botox?
Bruising is normally the one and only side effect of using Botox to treat facial muscles. Drooping of the eyelids is sometimes seen when the Botox is moved around by rubbing the area within the first 12 hours, or by laying down within a few hours of being treated. Because of the bruising, it’s not common for patients to rub the area or move the Botox. While alarming, this condition usually resolves itself in less than a month. Some users have experienced a headache, which can last up to two days, but this is not a common occurrence.