Botox has been receiving so much press lately that you may have found it difficult to go more than a day without reading about a new public figure or celebrity getting Botox. The treatment is certainly growing in popularity, but that does not always mean that the truth about this treatment is discussed in the media. In this article, we will be discussing the truth about Botox and how it works.
What is Botox? Is it Poison?
The word “Botox” is a combination of the words “botulinum” and “toxin.” Botox itself is a type of neurotoxic protein that is made by a variety of botulinum bacteria. Clostridium botulinum is the same sort of bacteria that causes botulism in food. The purified form of this botulinum toxin is, technically, a poison. However, Botox is only poisonous in huge quantities, and the amount of Botox used in facial injections is a very small fraction of the amount that would cause patient poisoning. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Botox as safe for use in the treatment of facial lines back in 2002, and in more recent years has approved Botox for other uses including the treatment of migraine headaches and as an overactive bladder treatment.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox works by relaxing the muscles that are causing the appearance of frown lines in the forehead area and crow’s feet around the eyes. The facial plastic surgeon who administers the Botox injections will ask each patient to frown, smile, and squint so that they can observe exactly where the lines appear, and where the muscles need relaxing. Most doctors will make small marks on the patient’s face where the injections will go. This will serve as a guideline during the injection process.
The injections are done with an ultra fine needle and most patients find that there is very little pain. Since the injections are not going deep into the skin, they generally take only minutes to perform. Immediately after the injection, there may be some slight redness and swelling at the injection sites, but this will often fade quickly. Some doctors will recommend that patients apply ice packs to the injection sites immediately after Botox treatment to encourage swelling to diminish even more quickly.
How Quickly Will Botox Work?
Patients should generally expect to see some results after a few days. The full effect of the Botox injections may not be evident for about two weeks. Once Botox has fully taken effect, patients will notice a dramatic smoothing of wrinkles and fine lines in the areas where it was injected.
Most patients find that when they get Botox injections at regular intervals (two to three months between appointments is ideal) they will retain their improved, more youthful, appearance.
Dr. Corrado is a board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon personally performs Botox injections for all his patients. He provides Botox treatment for patients within the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions, as well as for patients around the country.