Botox is a medication that, in small doses, has a long-range of benefits for your health. Doctors all over the world use it not only for cosmetic purposes but for medical treatment as well.
What is Botulinum Toxin?
Botulinum Toxin works as a muscle relaxant medication. It comes from originally harmless Botulinum bacteria that can be found in soils, forests, and lakes. However, these bacteria can produce a very dangerous toxin that in high doses can cause botulism and paralysis. Nowadays, we mostly know it as Botox (1).
What type of toxin is used in Botox?
Botox consists of Botulinum toxin A. It was the first type of Botulinum Toxins to be used in medicine in 1989. In a few years, it was approved to be used for cosmetic purposes as well. There are a few types of toxins with different molecular structures, but all of them have similar effects.
How does Botulinum Toxin work?
The whole Botulinum Toxin mechanism consists of blocking nerve signals in the muscles or paralyzing them. Naturally, the nerve endings release a special chemical substance – acetylcholine. This chemical serves as a connector between nerve endings and cells of a muscle.
This substance forces the muscle to contract. Botulinum toxin injections help to block acetylcholine release and decrease muscle activity, so muscles could be less stiff. Therefore, if the muscle is not able to contract, the skin will not be able to wrinkle.
However, there are some key differences between the medical and cosmetic use of Botox. Usually, for cosmetic purposes, injection doses are smaller and weaker. Botox injections help to get rid of facial wrinkles. The main goal of the injections is to correct appearance. Therefore, it is very helpful in eyebrow lifting, as well as eliminating fine lines around the lips. It also helps chin dimpling from overactive muscle movement.
The medical use of Botulinum Toxin is much more complicated. The injections mostly target the neuromuscular system. Some studies even state that Botox helps treat pain and headaches. However, it could be used for a different range of medical conditions. These include migraines, dystonia, eyelid spasms, and severe sweating.
What are the side effects?
The side effects of Botulinum toxin injections are mostly harmless and could be caused by the injection itself. The skin around the place of injection could become sensitive, red, swelling, or bruising.
Other side effects may include dry eyes, numbness, temporary weakness of muscles, arrhythmia, and stomach upset. Any kind of uncommon side effects may be caused by genetic factors or your health condition.
How long does it last?
The duration effect after Botox injection depends on the dosage, the patient’s anatomy, or the treatment area. Research shows that it may last between 3 and 6 months. However, the average duration is 4 months. For most people who use Botox for the first time, it is normal for injections to last shorter than average. There is no big difference because it is supposed surely to last more than just a couple of weeks. However, in some cases for men, the first Botox injection may last a bit shorter than for women.
What about COVID-19?
When the hard lockdown restrictions were first implemented, our access to aesthetic clinics was halted. However, with restrictions rising, one has to wonder if it’s safe to head back out to get botox.
That said, Allergan, the manufacturer of BOTOX, has no research available on the link between BOTOX treatments and COVID-19.Rather, they suggest that doctors should simply weigh up the benefits and risks based on the patient’s health and needs before following through with Botox treatment.
A Botox free world?
You can practice skin care techniques at home.
For one, at-home peels can help exfoliate your skin and give it that much-needed boost. The best part is that these peels often contain the very same potent ingredients found at aesthetic clinics.
You can also include serums in your beauty routine, as long as they contain skin-loving ingredients such as retinol, vitamins B3, C, and E as well as antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.
The bottom line
As you can see Botox is pretty useful. It helps to weaken and relax muscles to make your skin smoother. The side effects are not dangerous, and generally, the whole process is safe. The injections are a completely common procedure that has quick results. If you are considering using Botox, contact a specialist for more details.