In today’s world, Botox seems to be everywhere. Celebrities are openly admitting to getting the anti-aging injections, salons offer it as part of their packages, and you hear jokes about it on TV… So, it is no surprise to many that Botox is currently the leading anti-aging cosmetic treatment right now. Just because Botox is popular though, it doesn’t mean it is necessarily a good choice for you.
Here, we will look at Botox from an objective stance to help you decide whether Botox may be a good anti-aging solution for your needs.
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand name for an FDA approved drug made from modified toxic bacterium. The drugs are called either Botulinum toxin Type A or Botulinum toxin Type B. Yes, you should take note of the word toxic in their names! Botox is supplied in a powdered form which is then mixed with a liquid so it can be injected by a doctor.
What Can Botox Be Used For?
Botox is FDA approved – but only for very specific purposes. In terms of anti-aging, Botox is only FDA approved for reducing frown lines. However, doctors are allowed to administer Botox for other purposes as they see fit – and they have been very liberal about doing so. Botox gets injected to all areas of the face in order to reduce wrinkles and soften the appearance of the skin.
In addition to anti-aging cosmetic purposes, Botox can also be used to treat medical problems like muscular spasms, upper motor neuron syndrome, cervical dystonia, and migraines.
How does Botox Get Rid of Wrinkles?
Our brains use neurotransmitters to send messages throughout the body. One particular neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is responsible for causing muscle contractions. Botox works by blocking the message from this neurotransmitter, thus preventing muscles from contracting in the injection site. Since wrinkles are primarily caused in areas where the skin folded due to muscular contractions/movement, Botox can reduce or even completely eliminate wrinkles.
The Botox toxin is gradually broken down by the body so the effects will wear off. However, wrinkles may be still temporarily reduced even after the Botox wears off since that area of the skin did not get folded.
How is Botox Administered?
Botox is the most popular anti-aging procedure because it is so simple. It is usually done without any anesthesia and can be done in a salon as an outpatient procedure. A doctor will use a very fine needle to inject a muscle with Botox. The entire procedure usually will just take a few minutes to complete. Because getting a Botox injection is so easy and simple, it is often preferred over facelifts.
Is Botox Safe?
Whether or not Botox is safe is a very debatable issue – and it is often confused with the question as to whether Botox is effective.
To date, millions of people have received Botox injections and there have been few serious side effects. However, there have been at least 16 deaths from Botox reactions. While 16 out of millions may seem like low risk, keep in mind that we don’t know the long-term risks of Botox. There are no studies which conclusively show whether this anti-aging treatment is really safe.
Just because Botox isn’t necessarily going to cause serious side effects, it doesn’t mean that the unserious side effects shouldn’t cause you concern. Numerous people have reactions to Botox, such as severe inflammation. The Botox injection can often spread to other parts of the face, thus resulting in problems like droopy eyes or facial paralysis.
Are these risks worth it? This all depends on how eager you are to reduce the signs of aging on your face.