What is Botox?
Botox is a neurotoxin, a chemical that damages nervous tissue. If a body part is supplied by a nerve that was affected by a neurotoxin, it might become numb, weak or paralyzed. Neurotoxins are present in venom of some snakes and are released by certain bacteria. In our case, Botox is derived from a botulism toxin. Botulism toxin is extremely dangerous and may cause paralysis and even death even if only a small quantity was consumed (this could happen after consuming foods from improperly sealed cans), but when it comes to Botox, botulism toxin is so diluted that it becomes completely harmless.
You might also find it interesting that Botox was originally used for treating headaches, neck pains, excessive sweating and a number of eye conditions including cross-eye. So even before discovery of anti-aging qualities of Botox injections, Botox was something that was considered to be a good thing.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Botox Injections
Botox injections are quick, easy and as long as they are made by a skilled professional, they are absolutely safe. The procedure takes only about 15 minutes (depending on how many injections you need, it could be 2-10 injections if it’s your first treatment). There is no downtime; you will be able to go back to your regular activities immediately. The procedure is painless and you will be able to see the results within 4-7 days.
How does Botox work?
Unlike some other treatments, like facial resurfacing and chemical peels that stimulate the growth of new skin, Botox simply relaxes muscles that create wrinkles and expression lines. It is injected directly into targeted muscle and forces it to relax. Once the muscle is relaxed your wrinkles are gone – as simple as that!
Limitations of Botox
Since Botox injections work by relaxing muscles that cause expression wrinkles like frowns and crow’s feet, it cannot be used in lower parts of your face, because you need to be able to use these muscles at all times. For example, Botox cannot be used to erase smile lines. Botox injections won’t be sufficient for deep creases, where you will need to use a filler agent.
Another problem is that effect of Botox is short-lived, about 3-4 months, but if you do Botox injections regularly the effect will last longer. You will probably need to repeat treatments every 6 months.
The Risks of Botox Injections
As it was mentioned earlier Botox is absolutely safe when done by a skilled practitioner. When applied excessively or done unprofessionally (like being injected in wrong places), Botox may cause some temporal facial asymmetry, dropping lids or you will be unable to display some facial expressions.
Despite Botox was a beauty secret of rich celebrities for quite a long time, it becomes more affordable every year. The price range is between $300-$2,000, but keep in mind you will need to repeat this treatment every 4-6 months.
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