You probably know that BOTOX® can diminish the appearance of forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet, frown lines, and other facial wrinkles. Although this treatment is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been used for many years for these purposes, you may still have questions about it. Is it safe? How does it work? How long does it last? Read on for more information and the answers to these questions.
What Is Botox and How Does It Work?
BOTOX is a purified form of botulinum toxin A. In large amounts, this substance can cause botulism—usually recognized as a kind of food poisoning. In small, purified, diluted amounts, however, botulism toxin can be useful for treating a number of ailments. It works by blocking the nerves and chemicals that contract muscles, which causes temporary paralysis or weakening of muscles. The FDA first approved BOTOX for medical use in the late 1980s for treatment of blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), strabismus (crossed eyes), and amblyopia (lazy eye). It is also used to treat muscle stiffness/spasms and movement disorders (including cervical dystonia).
What Results Should I Expect?
One visible effect of the paralysis of the nerves and the concurrent contraction of muscles is reduced skin wrinkling. Within 24–48 hours, you may notice improvement in moderate to severe frown lines, which can last up to 4 months. Each injection procedure takes only about 10 minutes with minimal subsequent downtime—you even can do it over your lunch break! After receiving an injection, you may have some discomfort at the injection site, but you should be able to move your face normally through expressions and reactions.
What Are the Possible Side Effects?
BOTOX is approved by the FDA, which means that it has passed a rigorous review process and the FDA has decided that the benefits of the products outweigh any potential risks to the health of the patient. During the review process, manufacturers must provide scientific evidence from clinical trials demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of their product. The safety and efficacy of BOTOX have been evaluated in clinical studies by the manufacturer and described in nearly 500 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals.
The most commonly reported side effects are discomfort or pain in the area of the injection, headaches, and eye problems (including double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids or eyebrows, and eyelid swelling). BOTOX does carry the risk of serious side effects, however, including problems speaking, swallowing, or breathing and the spread of the toxin’s effects to other parts of the body. These rare situations have occured with large doses when used for therapeutic use.
Are There Other Options?
In addition to BOTOX, there are many other highly effective options to help reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and restore your skin’s youthful glow. Prescription Dysport®, for example, is a non-surgical injection that can temporarily and subtly soften moderate to severe forehead frown lines. Xeomin® is a prescription medication that blocks the release of chemicals that cause muscle contractions, which cause frown lines to form over time. Topical or injectable fillers like Juvederm®, Restylane®, Sculptra®, and Bellafill® are other options to help restore your skin’s elasticity and smoothness.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you’d like to look younger and healthier and aren’t sure whether BOTOX is right for you, schedule a consultation at Urban Effects Medspa in Des Moines today. Our clinicians can help you develop a cost-effective treatment plan that meets your objectives and helps you look and feel your best. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!