Botox® is the most common cosmetic procedure for getting rid of the telltale signs of aging like wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet etc. that stealthily appear on the face with each passing year. Many people want to know what the realistic before and after results of Botox® injections.
Apart from its aesthetic uses, Botox® is also commonly employed for the treatment of various medical conditions involving muscle dysfunction like neck spasms, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), weak eye muscles, chronic migraine and overactive bladder etc.
At International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM), well-trained and skilled physicians learn the proper Botox® injection techniques in order to meet the growing demand of aesthetic procedures, helping people feel more comfortable within their skin. Dermatologists agree, a Botox training program that combines a thorough didactic with hands-on injection training is the best.
What, Basically, Is Botox®?
Onabotulinumtoxin A, more commonly known as the Botox®, entails injecting weakened botulinum toxin type A along with human Albumin, which is one of the proteins found in human plasma, and sodium chloride, into the muscles or skin.
At the IAPAM, physicians learn the latest Botox® injection procedures so they can treat all those unsightly wrinkles and lines covering your face in order to enhance your facial features and to make you feel beautiful from within.
How Does Botox® Work?
When a facial muscle becomes overactive, it results in appearance of lines or wrinkles in the overlying skin. These wrinkles appear at 90 degrees to the direction in which the muscle fibers run. Injection of Botulinum toxin A into such muscles inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles, causing the muscle to relax. As the muscle relaxes, the wrinkles in the skin disappear resulting in a smoother, flawless look.
Does Botox® Hurt?
The procedure elicits minimal pain owing to the fact that the needles used for injecting Botox® have quite small a caliber. Even then, a topical anesthetic (a numbing agent) is administered in order to eliminate the pain.
The application of cold packs for 10-20 minutes is another way of achieving the same effect. Alternatively, vibration anesthesia can also be used which employs massage techniques to lessen the pain. The person might feel a slight degree of discomfort once the effects of the anesthetic subside.
Botox®: Before and After
A lot of people, especially the first-time clients, are gripped with anxiety before and after the Botox® treatment. Fear of what’s to come their way makes every prospective client apprehensive.
Before the Procedure
Before going for Botox® cosmetic procedure, it is advised to do your homework and choose an expert and credible doctor. Make an appointment to discuss all the pros and cons of getting the Botox injections and to relay your medical history.
Tell the doctor if you have had any recent similar cosmetic treatment. It is advised to tell the doctor if you are taking any sort of muscle relaxants, sleeping medications, blood-thinning drugs or medicines for any allergy.
Before the procedure, a numbing agent is applied to reduce the pain at the injection site via topical anesthetic gels or injections, ice packs or by vibration anesthesia.
During The Procedure
The procedure is carried out by a trained doctor, or another licensed healthcare provider like a nurse or physician assistant. During the administration of Botox® injection, a very small needle is used to inject Botulinum A into the muscle that they want to relax.
The number of injections that are given depends on the size of the affected area. The entire procedure takes an average of 10 minutes to be performed.
After the Procedure
The Botox® patients can return to their daily life activities immediately following the treatment which is why Botox® has come to be known as the “lunchtime” cosmetic procedure. The onset of the action of the Botox® injection occurs within 2-4 days. Botox® results attain their optimal level 10-14 days after the procedure.
Some of the potential side effects that might develop following Botox® cosmetic treatment include:
- Pain, swelling, redness or bruising at the injection site
- Flu-like symptoms
- Drooping of eyelids
- Deviation of mouth from its normal symmetry along with drooling
- Excessive dryness or watering of eyes
The more serious side effects associated with Botox® medical procedure which warrant immediate medical attention include:
- Generalized muscle weakness
- Visual problems
- Difficulty in speaking
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of bladder control
Are You A Candidate For Botox®?
Botox® has been approved for use in people between the ages of 18 and 65. However, you need to exercise caution and avoid Botox® if you are suffering from any of the following problems.
- Previous history of allergy to Botox®
- Skin infection at the injection site
- Neuromuscular diseases like myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton syndrome
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Bleeding disorders
- Previous history of facial surgery
- Inability to frown
- Drooping eyelids
At the IAPAM, physicians learn to take into account the medical history and the desired results. Taking a proactive approach to rule out any medical condition that might complicate the procedure.
Is Botox® Safe For Use?
Botox® injections were approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) in the year 1989 for various medicinal uses. In 2002, it was approved by FDA for the purpose of removing glabellar lines (the frown lines) that commonly appear between the eyebrows.
Although their harmful effects on unborn babies have not been studied for ethical reasons, expectant mothers, breastfeeding women and couples planning to start a family are advised to avoid Botox® injections.
Botox is a trademark of Allergan Inc.
For more information, visit the the IAPAM’s Aesthetic Medicine Symposium with Botox Training website