Botox injections are a popular way to temporarily erase fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Unlike more invasive cosmetic surgery treatments such as a facelift, botox injections are quick, easy, relatively painless, and require no recovery time. The effects of botox do not last forever, but as long as you can afford to have botox injections every few months, you will be able to keep age at bay and stay looking youthful for as long as you like.
What is botox and what are botox injections made from?
Botox is the popular name for a substance called botulinum toxin A, a type of neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism is a very severe form of food poisoning whereby the toxins produced then attack the nervous system and cause paralysis, and in serious cases, this can prove fatal. But although the botulinum toxin A is a potentially fatal neurotoxin, it was first discovered in the late 1970s that the botulinum toxin had therapeutic applications and the toxin began to be used for the treatment of several disorders of the nervous system.
Botox is still used for a number of medicinal treatments, but it is perhaps more widely known for its application in anti-aging treatments for both men and women. When used for cosmetic purposes, botox injections are used to reduce deep frown lines between the eyes. The injection is not intended to paralyse the face as some people think, but merely to relax the muscles and stop the patient from frowning or subconsciously grimacing, thus creating further lines and deep wrinkles.
How are botox injections carried out?
The botulinum toxin comes as a crystalline substance and in order to inject it into the body, it must be added to a liquid, typically saline. The area of the face to be injected is cleaned and a local anaesthetic is applied to reduce the discomfort. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, botox is injected.
What happens after the botox procedure?
You will have to sit in a semi-upright position for a few minutes to make sure you are feeling okay after the procedure. You will also be told not to lie down for between 2 and 4 hours to prevent the botox from drifting into a different part of the face. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for a few hours to reduce the risk of bruising. Certain medication, in particular, aspirin and ibuprofen, should also be avoided to reduce the risk of bruising.
How long does it take for the botox to take effect?
It will take between 3 and 10 days for you to see the effects of the botox injections. Very deep lines across the forehead will not disappear completely, but they will be reduced. Faint lines around the eyes and across the forehead should be almost invisible once the botox has taken effect. For deeper lines, it may be necessary to have more than one treatment.
How long will the botox last?
The effects of botox normally last very well for 3-4 months, but over time you will see the muscles returning to their normal function. However, results from botox will vary according to the skill of the practitioner. Having the procedure carried out by an inexperienced physician can lead to less than satisfactory results.
What are the risks of botox injections?
Although botox is considered to be very safe, there are a few minor risks involved with the procedure. Some people experience discomfort from the botox injections including headaches and flu-like symptoms. Another side effect sometimes seen after botox injections is a drooping eyelid or eyebrow, but when the botox is carried out by a reputable cosmetic surgeon, this is a very rare occurrence.
Are there any people who should not have botox injections?
Botox injections contain albumin, so if you are allergic to egg, you must not have botox injections. Botox should also be avoided if you are pregnant.