The most common use for Botox is to reduce fine lines & wrinkles! But how does it work & with what results?
23 July 2013| Last updated on 29 May 2017
Botox is best known to doctors as Botulinum toxin, a poison produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. Over the last 20 years, clinical applications for this toxin have emerged, including minimising the signs of aging by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing migraine headaches by relieving tension in the muscles, eradicating excessive sweating by inhibiting the chemical which stimulates the sweat glands, reduces arthritis pain, improving bladder control and treating eye conditions such as cross eye and twitching of the eyelids.
The most common, and widely known, use of botox is in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In the past, the only options were surgical, but botox has given people the opportunity to deal with these in an outpatient setting with none of the risks associated with surgery. The most frequent areas of usage are on the face, in particular the forehead, around the eyes and in the space between the eyebrows.
How botox works
Botox works by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, softening the appearance of wrinkles. They work best on “dynamic” wrinkles which appear while moving your face, such as when you frown.
Botox is injected into the area you wish to treat and usually takes 24-72 hours to take effect. The area may be numbed with ice or topical anaesthetic cream. The results should last approximately 8-12 weeks after which time the procedure will need to be repeated.
The most obvious side effect is a ‘frozen’ look which occurs when too much botox is injected, or when the botox migrates to other muscles. Choose a recommended, experienced practitioner who can help ensure you achieve a natural, expressive look. If you do experience a temporary paralysis of surrounding muscles, this will subside after 2-6 weeks.
Bruising may occur after the injections. To minimise this, avoid medications which thin the blood, such as aspirin or ibuprofen or some supplements such as fish oils or vitamin E, at least one week before your appointment.
You may experience headaches after your botox injections.
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