Approved by the FDA in 2002 for cosmetic use, Botox is an effective method of smoothing facial wrinkles caused by expressions such as smiling, frowning or squinting.
What is Botox?
Botox, or botulinum toxin Type A, is the product made by the bacteria that cause botulism. The preparation used for Botox injections is free of harmful bacteria so that it cannot cause illness.
How does Botox work?
Simply stated, low doses of Botox block signals from nerve endings to muscles. The muscles stop contracting or squeezing, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. You will notice positive results within a week after treatment.
How is Botox given?
Using a fine needle, Botox is injected into the skin or directly into the muscles that are creating the facial wrinkles. The procedure takes only a few minutes, and no anesthesia is necessary. In fact, because there is no recovery time involved, Botox injections are sometimes called a “lunchtime” procedure. (Aesthetic Cosmetic Centre offers several cosmetic procedures that fall into that category.)
Are Botox injections right for me?
If you have age-related wrinkles on your forehead, fine lines around your mouth or “crow’s feet” in the corners of your eyes, you may benefit from Botox injections.
How long does the effect last?
The medication’s effectiveness lasts anywhere from three to four months, and the treatment can be repeated as needed. When the Botox wears off, you will begin to notice increased muscle action and some reformation of the wrinkles. With repeated use, it appears that the effect of Botox is longer-lasting.
If you elect to stop the treatments, the wrinkles will not be worse than if you had not had the treatments.
What are the possible risks?
The risks and discomfort of Botox injections are minimal. You may experience temporary redness, bruising or stinging around the injection site(s). In rare cases, you could have a slight eyelid droop for several days or weeks after the injection. All reported side effects of Botox injections have been temporary.
Very little of the botulinum toxin is absorbed into the bloodstream. The doses used to treat wrinkles are low, and no serious side effects have been reported.