Botox: Is It For You?

Written by on January 23, 2019 in News Flash with 0 Comments

Botox is a familiar term these days in cosmetic procedures.  It actually is a toxin from the bacteria that causes a serious form of food poisoning known as botulism.  It works by temporarily paralyzing muscles.

When most people hear “Botox“, they probably connect it with its use to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles.  However, it originally was used by ophthalmologists in the late 1970s to correct muscle imbalances of the eyes and blepharospasm, an involuntary spasm of the eyelids that interferes with vision. The use of Botox has since been expanded for other medical purposes.  Doctors currently use Botox for a range of disorders, including neurological disorders, overactive bladder, migraines, and even arthritis.

Use of Botox is by far the most popular cosmetic procedure done these days. Our facial expressions and movements such as frowning, smiling, and laughter cause wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, lines between the eyebrows, and deepen forehead creases, making us appear older.  Botox injections cause a temporary paralysis of the muscles used in these expressions, resulting in relaxation of the muscles and a reduction in the appearance of the wrinkles. The result is a refreshed, more youthful appearance.

In the hands of well-trained experts, Botox has been proven to be safe and effective.  Because it's sometimes used at day spas and even home parties, some people think it's as simple as getting a pedicure or manicure, but this is a misconception!  Therefore, it's important to choose where you receive your Botox injections with the same care and attention that you would give to choosing any healthcare provider.  It's important to ask questions, such as how much training the provider has received and how many injections they've done.  Ask to see before and after photos.

What should you expect before and during your procedure?  The Botox provider will address the areas of concern to you and take a medical history.  It's important to fully and honestly disclose your medical history, including current medications and medical conditions that could possibly preclude the safe use of Botox.  There is little risk of complications with the proper administration of Botox, but certain medications such as aspirin and blood thinners can increase the danger of bleeding.

The needles that are used in Botox injections are very thin and the injections are not deep.  Therefore, many patients do not require a topical anesthetic prior to treatment.  There is virtually no “down time” following injections, although some providers may advise against strenuous exercise the same day.  In short, you may immediately return to your usual activities with no detrimental effects.

The results of the Botox injections won't be immediately evident, so don't be alarmed or think that it hasn't worked if you see no difference right away.  Each patient is unique, but it usually takes a few days to see the final results.  How long those results last varies from person to person.  Depending on the area treated and the unique nature of each patient, results usually last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. It can then be repeated by your provider to maintain your results.

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