Yes. Botox treatment for the face is an excellent way to get rid of the signs of ageing provided it is done by a certified and expert dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Botox is a miracle wrinkle remover. The trade name of Botox is botulinum toxin. This is the number one wrinkle removal treatment in the world.
Wrinkles are natural and everybody has them. They are formed because of expressions. When we laugh, cry, frown etc. the muscles under the skin contract and expand and causing fine lines and wrinkles to form on the skin. When one is young our skin is firm and the signs of ageing stay at bay but as we get older our skin loses about 1% of collagen every year and there is a loss of elasticity. As a result, wrinkles and lines start to appear and make us conscious of ageing. Since we cannot do a reset of the skin, we can opt for the second best thing and that is the Botox treatment for the face.
What is botulinum toxin?
Botox is a protein derived from botulinum toxin. As the name suggests botulinum is a toxin and can be dangerous to the body if taken in high doses. It is a neurotoxic derivative of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Botox has both cosmetic and medicinal uses. C. botulinum bacteria is naturally present in many things around us such as soil, lake, forest and even in the intestinal tracts of mammals and fishes. In its natural form, this bacterium is harmless, but when the bacteria reproduce and their cell population grows then after a limit, they start producing Botulinum toxin.
When ingested Botulinum toxin can cause botulism. This mainly happens because of eating improperly processed food in which the spores survive and produce toxins. Even as little as 1gm of this toxin can kill more than 1 million people. However, for therapeutic uses, small amounts of Botulinum toxin are very safe to use and have few side effects. It comes under many commercial preparations namely
- onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox)
- abobotulinumtoxin A (Dysport)
- incobotulinumtoxin A (Xeomin)
- rimabotulinumtoxin B (Myobloc)
- prabotulinumtoxin A (Jeuveau)
What is Botox used for?
Initially, Botox was mainly used for the treatment of eye disorders and movement disorders. But the miraculous discovery of the use of Botox in temporarily treating facial fine lines and wrinkles has made it the favourite of every cosmetic practitioner worldwide. An FDA-approved the treatment, Botox has been used safely for more than 50 years now and its cosmetic uses are more than 30 years old. Medially Botox is used for getting the patient relief from
- lazy eye
- cervical dystonia
- muscle contractures
- hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- chronic migraine
- eye twitching
- bladder dysfunction
- urinary incontinence
In its cosmetic uses, the most common Botox treatments include
- minimizing crow’s feet i.e., canthal lines
- minimizing the lines between eyebrows that look like 11 (glabella lines)
- lines on the corner of the mouth
- cobblestone skin on the chin
- horizontal necklace lines
- Hair treatments
How does Botox work?
When we form any expressions on our face our brain sends signals to the nerve to stimulate muscle contraction. A chemical messenger called acetylcholine is used to communicate from the nerve endings to muscle endings to contract or expand. When Botox is injected into the skin it paralyses the nerves and stops the release of acetylcholine which inhibits the muscles from contracting and becoming stiff.
When the muscles are not able to contract, the skin cannot wrinkle and thus the facial lines are softened and less visible. It also slows down the formation of new lines as the facial muscles are not contracting.
Benefits of Botox
- It is FDA approved
- Comfortable and pain-free
- Minimally invasive
- Requires no downtime
- It has multipurpose uses
- Works well for lines and wrinkles
- Can be safely used with other anti-ageing treatments such as dermal fillers for a facelift
- Much more affordable than surgical facial rejuvenation procedures.
Results of Botox treatment
Botox is an outpatient procedure and does not require any anaesthesia. It is also popularly called the lunchtime procedure. The effects of Botox treatments last for about 3-6 months. Repeat treatments are needed to maintain the effect. Botox treatment gives instant results and will make your face look rested and younger instantly. There is a noticeable change in your appearance if you compare the before and after Botox photos. Post-Botox treatment the skin looks tight and taut and most fine lines and deep wrinkles become smooth. The skin feels visibly supple, healthier, and plump.
The procedure for Botox anti-ageing treatments is very simple. The botulinum toxin is mixed with saline and injected into the neuromuscular tissue. The number of units of Botox needed depends on the area to be treated and the expected results. For example, frown lines need about 10-25 units where as treatment of neckbands can take up to 20-50 units. Multiple areas can be treated in one session. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete. It takes about 24-72 hours for the effects to start showing and full results take about 3 days.
The patient can go home immediately after the procedure but there are some things to keep in mind
- Do not recline for 3-6 hours post-Botox injections to avoid unwanted diffusion of the toxin
- Do not try to massage or manipulate the treated area for 4 hours post-treatment. Otherwise, the results can vary and bruising can occur.
- Do not exercise the treated muscles for 24 hours post-Botox treatment i.e., avoid smiling, raising your eyebrows or frowning.
Are you a candidate for Botox?
Any health adult male and female with realistic expectations is a healthy candidate for Botox anti-ageing treatments. However, Botox is not suitable for people
- Who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have a bleeding disorder
- Who are suffering from an infection
Preparing for Botox treatment
- Before you proceed for the treatment make sure that you provide your doctor with a full medical history. If you have had any previous Botox or skin rejuvenation procedure you should disclose it.
- You will need to be away from supplements and medications for a few days before the treatment. If you take medicines like aspirin or painkillers then it is a high chance that you might get bruising at the injection side. Skip the pills 2 weeks in advance before the date of the procedure.
- Ask the doctor for a natural look and this way you can avoid looking ‘bland’ or ‘too made up’.
Botox treatment cost
The cost of Botox treatment depends on various factors such as
- The purpose i.e., cosmetic or medical
- The surgeon
- The location
- Number of Botox units needed
Botox forehead cost is different from the cost of Botox for smoothening crow’s lines. The cosmetic treatment is not covered by insurance and therefore it is best to discuss the detailed Botox treatment cost with your doctor before going in for the procedure.
Risks of Botox treatment
Generally side effects of Botox are uncommon. However, depending on who is giving the injections and the person’s response to it, Botox can have some unwanted side effects including
- Dry eyes
- Eyelid drooping
- Upset stomach
- Pain and swelling on the injection side
- Urinary problems
If you face any such side effect then contact your doctor immediately.