The name Botox is not uncommon; you have heard it floating around between friends, among older relatives, maybe even at work. Though it has been such a popular product for so long, it can still be a bit unclear why it is so popular and, now that it has so many functions, what exactly it is used for.
Learning about the different ways Botox can help you, and what exactly this neurotoxin is, might push you in the direction of becoming one of its faithful fanatics, so be prepared to learn everything you need to know about our favorite injectable treatment!
What is Botox?
Botox is an injectable made of botulinum toxin type A. Those words mean absolutely nothing to the majority of the population. The chemical that makes up Botox is used primarily for relaxing stiff muscles and was originally a solution for muscle spasms and dystonia. Since then, research has helped push Botox into commercial use and its functions have extended to cosmetic treatment as well as healing a long list of symptoms.
Why is it so popular?
Botox has become so popular over the years because of its massive commercial reach and appeal. Once a very noticeable treatment for crow’s feet and anti-aging, it has become a finessed procedure that can naturally reduce the signs of aging and provide men and women with relief for many different types of chronic pain or cosmetic woes. Because it is such a versatile product and may soon become a topical treatment, Botox is only going to become more common and, possibly, even a household name.
What can Botox do for me?
You’re probably wondering what exactly the functional uses of Botox are, and we don’t blame you. There are so many different ways to use this injection, but the most popular include:
- Anti-aging: Botox is very effective in combatting stiffened muscles in the face, including crow’s feet, lines between your brows and other wrinkling that can be caused by stress and time. As these muscles harden and seem to make a permanent residence on your appearance, they cause you to look older than you feel. Injecting Botox carefully into these areas can bring major relief to the muscles and help you look as young as you feel.
- Migraine Solution: Chronic migraines have very few treatments, the most popular being overmedicating with either prescription strength medication or over-the-counter pain killers, which can both be very damaging to your liver when taken in excess over a long period of time. Botox has recently been approved as an effective treatment for migraines when injected into the temples. It reaches the nerves causing the pain and relaxes them to relieve the headache.
- Excessive Sweating: That’s right! Extra-strength antiperspirant has nothing on Botox for managing sweat. Patients have opted for injections in their underarms, feet or scalp to eliminate excessive perspiration and avoid sweat marks on their clothes or ruining their blowout within an hour of leaving the salon.
- Involuntary muscle spasm: Cervical dystonia, a disorder that causes the head and neck to jerk, or blepharospasm, chronic eye twitching, can both be treated with Botox. As the product is designed to relax muscle function in specific areas, when injected into the site of the nerve causing the spasm, it can be very effective in relieving these twitches.
What are the side effects?
It is extremely important to consult an experienced physician before opting for Botox injections, because this toxic substance can have an adverse effect if administered improperly. Allergic reaction is always a possibility with a new medication, so be sure to let your doctor know if you have similar allergies or if you need an allergy test.
If you do see a physician who is not experienced and trained with Botox injections, you risk the possibility of paralyzing the wrong muscle group. So, instead of eliminating the look of crow’s feet, you may end up without proper eyelid function for the duration of the injection. The side effects of Botox are very manageable and avoidable if you are careful about who you choose to administer the treatment.
After your injections, you might notice redness, swelling or irritation in the injected area. This does not necessarily mean you are allergic to the treatment; it is a natural reaction that lasts several hours to one day and will fade on its own.
How early can you start?
In recent years, because of the widespread use of Botox, it has been debated how early is too early to begin to receive injections. The answer truly depends on why you are receiving the injections and what your intentions are for treatment.
Something to consider when you are beginning to receive Botox injections is that they are not permanent. The upkeep on Botox is about twice per year, so it is not a treatment you can receive once and be through with it if you want to maintain the results. If you are opting for cosmetic reasons, consider this in your ultimate decision.
No patient under 18 years old should ever be receiving injections, but Botox can be helpful for adults who need a solution to migraines or sweating. For anti-aging purposes, we recommend waiting until mid-to-late twenties before beginning injections. This may still seem young, but Botox as preventative can put off the aging process and help men and women look ageless when they should be starting to see fine lines in the face.
Am I a good candidate for Botox?
If you have begun to experience early signs of aging or are looking for a solution to chronic pain, Botox might be the perfect treatment for you. Before choosing this injection, we recommend you schedule a consultation with a trusted specialist like Dr. Elias. As an experienced surgeon and Los Angeles’ go-to Botox physician, he knows what can benefit his patients and is able to guide you in the right direction.
At the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we want our patients to feel comfortable, supported and safe trusting in our care. To schedule your consultation and learn more about how you can improve how you look and feel, call us today: (818) 696-4425.