BOTOX, short for Botulinum Toxin, is a protein originally distributed by the American Pharmaceutical company, Allergan. Initially used in the 1980s to treat eye spasms and strabismus (crossed eyes), Botox injections have rapidly risen as one of the most popular and safest cosmetic procedures worldwide for the removal of lines and wrinkles in the face and neck region, since it’s acceptance as a cosmetic drug in 2002. However, like other cosmetic procedures, there are both advantages and disadvantages of Botox.
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How Does Botox Work?
Wrinkles are formed due to contraction of muscles. These are formed at a 90° angle to the muscles. For example, the wrinkles that appear on the forehead when eyebrows contract, are horizontal to the vertical forehead muscle.
Botox is administered directly into these muscles, which restricts the contracting impulses. Hence, the wrinkling reduces, resulting in a smooth skin appearance. The procedure is relatively quick and doesn’t require too much post-operation care.
Some wrinkles that exist without contraction are resistant to Botox. These can be taken care of by other cosmetics, although, Botox can help in reducing them.
Botox improvements are also fast. It needs a 4-day maximum time to impact the nerves that trigger contraction. However, the total effect of Botox requires a couple of weeks.
Now, let’s take a look at the pros of Botox:
The Advantages Of Botox
1- Fast with Quick Results
Where other anti-aging procedures require multiple sessions, Botox presents instant results within 1 day to a week after treatment, varying from person to person. Moreover, the procedure itself is performed within 5-10 minutes, making it an effective cosmetic solution for people with time constraints.
2- Temporary Side Effects
Like all medical treatments, Botox also possesses various side effects, namely neck pain, nausea, headaches, ptosis (droopy eyelids) and Upper Respiratory Tract infections; although the latter two are extremely uncommon.
These problems are very mild, however, and subside within 24-48 hours, post-injection. In some people, certain side effects may persist for a few weeks, although they disappear long before the effect of the treatment wears off.
3- Less Invasive
Facial alterations are temporary due to the non-surgical nature of Botox, making it the least invasive amongst all other surgical procedures. It also poses fewer health risks as the proteins injected into the face do not spread anywhere else in the body, if administered correctly.
4- Prolongs Skin-Aging
Botox treatment at an earlier age (late 20s-30s) can also be used to prevent or prolong the onset of lines and wrinkles by inhibiting the movement of muscles required to make certain facial expressions-such as crinkling eyes that result in ‘crow’s feet’.
If it’s original purpose of treating irregular eye movements is any indication, this popular cosmetic drug can also be applied to different areas of the body to treat various medical issues:
- Headache Prevention for people with chronic migraines. However, the treatment requires tri-monthly sessions of 31 injections in 7 different areas surrounding the head, face and neck.
- Bladder Incontinence can be reduced by injecting the serum into the bladder, hence increasing its size and controlling bladder overactivity.
- Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating can be kept at bay for up to 2 years with a single Botox treatment.
- Acne Scars, or pock marks can be stopped from growing or eliminated entirely. It is also administered prior to skin cancer surgery in order to avoid the skin from tearing at the incision site.
- Jaw Pain and Headaches associated with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) during chewing can be relieved with a Botox injection to the jaw.
This brings us to the highlight of this article, and something(s) every aspiring patient should keep in mind, the disadvantages of Botox:
The Disadvantages Of Botox
1- Temporary Results
The effects of the treatment last between 2-8 months, making regular top-ups necessary. So while a single Botox treatment is comparatively inexpensive, the multiple treatments can slowly amount to a large sum.
2- Increasing Tolerance
The protein nature of Botox prompts the immune system to produce antibodies that block and inactivate the drug with continued use over time, hence reducing the drug’s effectiveness and requiring a higher dosage with every visit in order to achieve results similar to the first application.
3- Pain and Bruising
Facial skin is highly sensitive to the fine syringe needles used to administer Botox, making the procedure particularly painful for some people. Moreover, unsightly bruises around the injection site that usually last for a few days are fairly common.
4- Frozen Face
Botox works by freezing, or paralyzing the muscles of a particular area to remove wrinkles, which also makes it difficult to speak clearly and form basic facial expressions such as smiling; while also giving the face a constant ‘surprised’ or ‘frowning’ appearance that lasts for a few days. However, it is most apparent in people who get higher doses or other treatments along with Botox.
For best results after treatment, refrain from overexertion or rubbing the injected area of the skin. Also, make sure to stop using aspirin, blood thinning and anti-inflammatory medicines two weeks prior to treatment to reduce bruising. Botox is not recommended for pregnant women and people over 65.
While the procedure is completely safe, it will help to keep these disadvantages of Botox in mind. Also, make sure to get the drug administered by a trained professional to avoid the Botulinum (a core component of Botox which is also a powerful muscle paralyzing agent that is highly fatal, particularly when ingested) from spreading to other parts of your body.
Book an appointment with a top Cosmetic Surgeon in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com,. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for retaining youthful skin.