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How Botox Works and Why You Need It

According to Statistic Brain, there were 4.2 million Botox patients as of 2017. About 82 percent of these patients reported having experienced improvement.

Botox is one of the most acclaimed non-surgical treatments out there for fine lines and wrinkles. Sadly, most people seem not to understand the specifics of this procedure. As such, before undergoing this procedure, it helps to know how Botox works.

Read on to learn more.

What’s Botox?

According to Medical News Today, Botox is a neurotoxin obtained Clostridium botulinum, an active and non-toxic organism that is found in the natural environment. This organism is available in forests, lakes, and soils. It can also be found in the intestinal tracts of fish and mammals.

Botox is the first drug to use botulinum toxin, and that’s the reason it’s also referred to as botulinum toxin type A. Keep in mind that there are other products made from this toxin, including Xeomin, Myobloc, and Dysport. However, they’re not interchangeable with Botox.

As a neurotoxin, Botox is usually used in small, diluted quantities because it causes botulism when using is large amounts. You don’t need to worry about any adverse effects. The benefits of Botox have help to address different problems in both cosmetic and medical fields.

How Botox Works

Typically, the doctor injects a small, diluted amount of the toxin into the muscles. The toxin usually targets the nervous system, and this disrupts the normal function of the of the nerve signals to allow effective communication of neurons to the muscles.

The injection of the toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. This prevents the muscle cells from contracting. Essentially, the toxin works by inhibiting the abnormal contraction of muscles, making them less stiff.

When the muscles become stiff, wrinkles relax and soften. This procedure works well for frown wrinkles, lines around the eye, and forehead lines. It doesn’t work well for wrinkles caused by gravity and sun damage.

Cosmetic and Medical Uses of Botox

Botox has different uses, and it’s important to understand all of them.

1. Cosmetic Uses

In cosmetic industry, Botox is used to clear wrinkles and facial lines. Even though this procedure only takes a few minutes, you still need to know how Botox works.

No anaesthesia is necessary before the procedure. The funny thing is that Botox stays and works only where its injected. For example, when you get a facial injection, the toxin is not going to move to the legs, back or other areas of the body.

It takes about three to seven days for the injection to take full effect. Before getting Botox, it’s recommended to avoid alcohol at least one week to treatment. You should also avoid anti-inflammatory medications and aspirin.

2. Medical Uses

Botox is so popular as an aesthetic treatment than a medical procedure. In fact, it’s a useful treatment for a variety of medical conditions, include excess sweating, leaky bladders, migraines, and eye squints. It’s approved for several therapeutic applications, including:

  • Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
  • Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia
  • Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis
  • Overactive bladder
  • A chronic migraine

Botox is used in therapeutic treatment because it has biological blocking powers. When applied to manage excessive sweating, don’t expect to stop sweating completely. Sweating is a healthy body function that you need to experience.

How Long Does the Injection Last?

The effect of a Botox injection can last three to six months. As such, if you’re using Botox for cosmetic purposes, you’ll need to get another injection after three to six months.

Typically, after a while, the muscle action will slowly return, and this means the wrinkles and fine lines will begin to reappear, too. The good thing is that lines and wrinkles are usually less severe when they reappear.

Some experts say that Botox has a prophylactic effect, meaning it can prevent future wrinkles. Or, it can also prevent the worsening of existing wrinkles.

Are There Side Effects of Botox?

Like most treatments, Botox has potential side effects on patients. During the injection, you can expect temporary bruising. The injection site can get red, bruised, or can also swell. However, some of these can be avoided if the procedure is done carefully.

If your treatment is successful, you can resume your routine immediately. Headaches can also happen, but this is rare. If they do occur, they clear up within 24 to 48 hours. Some patients may also experience eye drooping, and it goes away within three weeks.

Other potential side effects you’re likely to experience, include:

  • Flu-like illness
  • Neck weakness
  • Temporary weakness
  • Mild nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased eyesight

Some side effects, such as eye drooping, usually occur when Botox moves around. As such, it’s advisable not to rub the injection site for 12 hours following the procedure.

Bleeding and bruising usually occurs if the doctor injects the needle too deep and hits a blood vessel. Some of these effects can occur for hours or even weeks after getting an injection. It’s advisable to reach out to a doctor when you experience them.

More Information on Botox

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to have a Botox injection. Those who have neurological issues should avoid it, too. Also, if you have had allergic reactions to past Botox injections, you should probably not have it again.

When used for cosmetic purposes, your insurance may not cover Botox. You’ll need to contact your insurance company to learn more about the coverage details.

Keep in mind that all cases are unique. What worked for another person might not work for you. Whatever the case, you need to consult with a doctor first before getting the injection.

How Botox Works – The Takeaway

If you’re considering undergoing a Botox treatment, you need to learn more about it. This post offers a clear overview of how Botox works to help you understand a few things about it. Take the time to determine if Botox is ideal for you and assess other possible alternatives.

Generally, Botox is a safe procedure and has been successful in yielding results for many patients. If you still have more questions about Botox, feel free to contact us, and we’ll be glad to help you.