Botox has been used cosmetically and works by temporarily preventing the nerve from activating the muscle responsible for wrinkling the skin. The procedure involves using botulinum toxin injections produced by fermentation of a type of bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The most widely used form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc).
In fact, Botox got its first FDA approval to treat medical ailments such as excessive underarm sweating, muscle spasms, and eyelid tics. And in 2002, the FDA approved the drug to be used cosmetically to minimize facial wrinkles, primarily the vertical lines between the eyebrows. Botox had been used off-label for cosmetic purposes before this.
Is Botox a Safe Procedure?
To make sure Botox is safe for everyone, inform the doctor in case of the following:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”)
- bleeding problems
- breathing disorder (asthma or emphysema)
- change in the normal appearance of the face
- facial muscle weakness (weak forehead, droopy eyelids, and trouble raising the eyebrows)
- had other botulinum toxin injections (Dysport or Myobloc), especially in the last 4 months
- history of side effects after having a botulinum toxin before
- Lambert-Eaton syndrome
- myasthenia gravis
- problems with swallowing
- surgery (especially on the face)
How Is Botox Given?
Most importantly, Botox injections should be administered only by a trained medical professional, even when used for cosmetic purposes. This treatment is injected into a muscle by a healthcare provider. Also, Botox injections should be spaced at least 3 months apart.
In addition, the injections may be given into more than one area at a time, depending on the treated condition.
What To Expect from Botox Injections?
Before The Procedure
While most people don’t feel much discomfort during the procedure, doctors might use different methods to numb the treated area, such as topical anesthesia, ice, and vibration. Also, anesthesia can be given if palms or soles are being treated for excessive sweating for those who want the skin numbed beforehand.
If treated for excessive sweating, shave the underarms about 24 hours before the injection. It’s best not to apply antiperspirant or deodorant for 24 hours before or after receiving the injection. Also, avoid exercise and hot foods or beverages within 30 minutes before the injection.
During The Procedure
Typically, Botox injections are performed in a doctor’s office. The doctor uses a thin needle to inject tiny amounts of botulinum toxin into the skin or muscles. The recommended number of Botox injections will depend on many factors, such as the extent of the treated area.
After The Procedure
For 24 hours, it is suggested not to rub or massage the treated areas. This is because it can help prevent the toxin from spreading to a different area. Patients can resume their daily routines after the procedure.
Also, it’s best to inform the doctor of any type of Botox injection done within the past four months and if taking muscle relaxants, sleeping aids, or allergy medications. If taking blood thinners, it’s advisable to stop taking them several days before the injection to reduce the risk of bleeding or bruising.
What Conditions Can Be Addressed by Botox?
Botox is usually known to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. That said, Botox injections can relax the muscles that cause the following aging signs:
- crow’s feet (these are wrinkles that appear at the outer corner of the eyes)
- forehead creases
- frown lines between the eyebrows
In addition, Botox is also used to treat underlying muscular conditions, such as:
- amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
- chronic migraine
- cervical dystonia (neck spasms)
- certain neurological conditions like cerebral pals
- eye twitching
- hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- overactive bladder
Can Botox Help Reduce Pain?
Botox has been used for pain management by many healthcare providers. This is because Botox blocks nerve signals that control muscle activity, resulting in relaxation and pain relief. Botox injections can be successful in treating:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Jaw pain
- Nerve pain
- Sciatica pain
- Neuropathy (peripheral neuropathy)
- Pelvic pain
- Chronic myofascial pain (CMP)
- Joint pain
- TMJ pain
What Are the Possible Risks of Botox?
When performed by a licensed professional, Botox injections can be relatively safe. However, the possible side effects and complications may occur, such as:
- Bruising or swelling
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows
- Eye dryness or excessive te
- Headache or flu-like symptoms
- Pain at the injection site
Although very unlikely, the toxin in the injection can spread in the body. Most importantly, call a doctor right away if any of these effects are noticeable hours to weeks after receiving Botox:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Breathing problems
- Loss of bladder
Who Should Not Have Botox?
Those who should not have Botox injections are as follows:
- Have allergies or sensitivity to ingredients in the Botox Patients with certain neuromuscular conditions (e.g., myasthenia gravis)
- Those with infections at the treatment site
- Patients taking aminoglycoside antibiotics or captopril
- Neuromuscular disease
- Drooping eyelids (ptosis)
- Weak facial muscles
How Often Should You Get Botox?
On average, Botox’s effects can last about 3-5 months. Retreatment is recommended at this time. Eventually, the muscles may train themselves to contract less.
In this case, treatments can be spaced out over more extended periods. The healthcare provider will inform the number of treatments needed to get Botox based on unique needs.
How Long Does Botox Work?
Following the Botox treatment, the desired effects will be visible to most people around the third or fourth day. Moreover, the full results will be visible within 10 to 14 days.
In addition, it may take up to 2 weeks after injection before neck muscle spasm symptoms begin to improve—the most significant improvement after 6 weeks. Also, it may take only 1 to 3 days after injection before eye muscle spasm symptoms improve. A patient may notice the most significant improvement after 2 to 6 weeks.
How Long Does Botox Last?
Within 3-6 months following the Botox therapy, toxins wear off, and muscles regain movement. As a result, wrinkles and issues like migraines and sweating may resume. To maintain results, choose to receive more Botox injections, as well as the healthcare provider will inform how often to undergo Botox treatment.
The Bottom Line
Botox can help soften fine lines, wrinkles, and facial furrows or prevent these signs of aging altogether. At Enhance Medical Aesthetics, they offer Botox to temporarily reduce the action of facial muscles that cause those pesky wrinkles and fine lines. Not only that, but they also provide Dysport, Xeomin, and Nuceiva to smooth the skin for a more youthful appearance.