Considering Botox®? It's great! With a brief procedure associated with very little discomfort, one can obtain significant improvement in certain facial creases to achieve a more youthful appearance that can persist up to four months.
What is Botox?®
Botox® is one of a class of drugs called botulinum toxins. Specifically, Botox® is the brand of botulinum toxin type A made by Allergan. Botox® is the most studied brand of botulinum toxins and has been in use worldwide for more than 15 years. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 200, Botox® is approved for treatment of both men and women between the ages of 18 and 65. Almost 3.3 million Botox® procedures were performed in 2005 alone.
How is Botox used?
Most commonly, Botox® is used as a focal agent to reduce muscle contraction thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and creases in the face. While improving the appearance of frown lines, forehead creases and crow's feet, Botox allows normal facial expressions to remain unaffected. The result is a more youthful look which is noticeable soon following treatment. The effects persist for up to four months at which point the treatment can be repeated.
Botox® treatment involves a series of injections which may take as little as ten minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. While the injections are not painless, most people tolerate the procedure without difficulty.
Botox® is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. It is a nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily reduce moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people 18 to 65 years of age. During treatment, very low doses of Botox® are administered via a few tiny injections directly into the muscles that cause those lines.
Those moderate to severe frown lines between your brows form over time as the result of muscle activity. Very low doses of Botox® are injected directly into the muscles between your brows. It works by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the injected muscles; this reduces the activity of the muscles that cause those persistent lines to form.
Within days, one usually sees a marked improvement in the moderate to severe frown lines between your brows. These lines continue to improve for up to a month, and results can last for up to 4 months. In clinical trials, nearly 90% of men and women rated the improvement in their appearance as moderate to better 1 month after treatment. Results may vary.
The benefits of Botox may continue to improve up through the first month and the improvements in wrinkle and crease lines can persist for up to 4 months, with some individual variation.
Discomfort is usually minimal and brief. This discomfort associated with the injections can sometimes be reduced with the use of a cold pack or anesthetic cream applied to the area before injecting.
Local pain and tenderness are the most common side effects following injection and may be associated with swelling, redness and bruising. These side effects are generally transient and short-lived. Some people experience temporary eyelid droop and nausea. Any break in the skin can result in infection though this is very uncommon with Botox®. Patients with certain neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome may be at increased risk of serious side effects. For more details, see the full Prescribing Information.
Botox® should not be used in the presence of infection at the proposed injection site(s) and in individuals with known hypersensitivity to any ingredient in the formulation. Patients with neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome may be at increased risk of serious side effects.
Botox® treatment does not radically change your facial appearance or make you look stiff. The muscles activity causing the crease lines is simply reduced, so you can still frown or look surprised.
If you stop treatments, the Botox® wears off gradually and the moderate to severe frown lines between your brows will look like they did before treatment.
When considering other facial aesthetic options, Botox® is quite affordable. According to an American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery survey, Botox® is one of the low-entry-cost facial aesthetic procedures in the United States. Like other appearance-related investments, such as hair coloring and cuts, teeth whitening, and chemical peels, the cost must be weighed relative to your expectations. Consult your doctor for further information.
Over the 15 years that Botox has been in use, it has proven itself to have an excellent safety record. It is not, however, for everyone. Please see Prescribing Information for more details.
There are a number of procedures designed to improve facial appearance and provide anti-aging benefits. Alternative procedures include chemical peels, dermabrasions, laser treatments and injectable fillers. There are quite a few creams and lotions on the market as well which provide anti-aging benefits.