Most of us have heard of Botox. It’s how celebrities continue to have healthy, glowing skin well into their sixties, and how our next-door-neighbor continues to somehow avoid crow’s feet. Botox is safer than ever these days, with little risk of complication or side effects. In fact, since its FDA approval in 2002, more than 11 million Americans have undergone the procedure. Even though most people deem Botox to be safe these days, many still don’t know how it works. Here, we lay out The Basics of Botox function as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.
The Basics of Botox and Facial Fillers
What is Botox Used For?
Botox is primarily used to remove wrinkles cosmetically, especially around the cheeks and forehead. It offers a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that’s a safer alternative to facelifts. In addition to eliminating fine lines, Botox can also be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including eye twitching, chronic migraines, excessive sweating, and incontinence.
How Does Botox Work?
The botulinum toxin is a powerful poison in the wrong situation. It’s produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which has been linked to improperly preserved foods. Infection with C. botulinum can result in symptoms such as blurred or double vision, slurred speech, and muscle weakness, eventually leading to paralysis and death.
Doctors have found that in small quantities, however, the botulinum toxin can actually be beneficial. It temporarily immobilizes muscles, giving it both cosmetic and therapeutic applications. With a small injection, Botox can stiffen and smooth muscles to create a younger and more firm appearance.
Botox works by preventing nerve signals from reaching muscle cells. It blocks the chemical messenger Acetylcholine, which means that muscle cells are no longer able to contract as easily. This means that muscles are less stiff, which makes wrinkles less visible.
What are the Side Effects?
Most people recover quickly from a Botox injection and don’t see any side effects. A small population, however, may have an adverse reaction to the toxin, even when administered correctly. Here are the potential side effects that you may experience after a Botox appointment:
- Mild pain, numbness, or irritation at the injection site
- Temporary weakness of adjacent muscles
- Flu-like symptoms
- Blurred vision
- Hives or rashes
Generally, Botox is a perfectly safe procedure that thousands of people undergo every year. It can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making you look ten years younger after each appointment. If you’re thinking about getting Botox, make sure to consult your doctor to reduce the risk of complications by understanding the The Basics of Botox.