The Pros & Cons of Botox – By Dr. Kelly Burkenstock
Botox is a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles and treating certain muscular conditions. It helps to relax the muscles by temporarily paralyzing muscles and is used around your eyes and your forehead, mouth, jaw and other areas. Botox provides a refreshed, youthful look as well as softened wrinkles. Last year over 7 million people received Botox injections and it is currently the most popular cosmetic procedure in the U.S.
Botox is considered safe — a study published in 2014 , JAMA Dermatology found an average of one negative side effect (typically minor) for every 3,333 procedures.
Botox is short for “botulinum toxin,” the bacteria that causes botulism, a sometimes fatal form of food poisoning. It sounds scarier than it is in reality. In small quantities, Botox merely interrupts nerve impulses to muscles in the face or anywhere it’s injected into the body. Common treatment areas are the lines that furrow the forehead when you raise your eyebrows, the crow’s feet that appear when you squint or smile, and the creases between the eyebrows when you frown. These “overuse” wrinkles are all caused by tension in underlying muscles. The active underlying muscles contract and squeeze the skin like an accordion. Botox relaxes these active “overused” muscles and keeps this aggressive contraction and the ensuing wrinkles from appearing for three to six months.
Fortunately, Botox is so diluted when used for treatments that serious side effects like allergic reactions are extremely rare. Allergic reactions such as itching, wheezing, asthma, rash, red welts, dizziness and faintness are seldom seen, but is noted in the literature.
Temporary Droopy eyelids or a mouth drool can occur if an inexperienced practitioner would inject the wrong muscle, and could last a few months. But even a perfectly executed Botox procedure may result in minor annoyances. Depending on which wrinkles are treated, you might not be able to express your full facial gestures.For example you may not be able to fully frown, or raise your eyebrows, or squint. Many feel this is a small price to pay for beauty! Clients often choose the wrinkle free and youthful look.
The good news is that even if there’s a little accident, Botox wears off after a while, typically 3-6 months. It gradually dissipates and the client can choose whether or not to have another Botox treatment . There are not any known permanent side effects from Botox. Mistakes are pretty rarre in the hands of an experienced and well-trained aesthetic physician.
Trained Aesthetic physicians also know when Botox will not be useful for a client. Some wrinkles result from the loss of elasticity due to aging that can cause the skin to sag and crumple. There are other treatments for this sort of wrinkle, but Botox isn’t one of them. Rather, Botox smooths and relaxes active, dynamic wrinkles .
So Botox is fabulous, but unfortunately not a cure-all. Consider the following list of pros and cons so you can make an informed decision:
1. Prevent wrinkles: Botulinum Toxin A, found in Botox prevents muscle contractions by attacking the proteins that trigger the contractions. This leads to reduced wrinkles since the muscles do not contract or move.
2. Temporary procedure: After the first injection you can decide whether to continue with the treatment or not. After some time, the skin returns to its original shape since the skin is not altered.
3. Quick results: Once you receive the injections, you can see the results within 2-7 days. In most cases, the Botox is 100% effective.
4. Downtime: little to none. Botox treatment may cause a tiny bruise, but in most cases it leaves no swelling or marks on the skin.
5. Convenient: If you want to carry out a cosmetic procedure to refresh your facial features, then Botox is the safe and convenient method compared to plastic surgery.
6. FDA approved: The FDA has approved Botox for use as a cosmetic procedure since it has minimal risks and few side effects.
7. Few risks: There are minimal health risks associated with the Botox procedure. As always, Pregnant women are advised not to use any drug including Botox because there is a small chance of the drug spreading to the unborn baby.
1. Allergic reactions: Some people may have reactions to the drug. Sometimes the reaction can be severe and uncontrollable.
2. Requires a professional: For you to do the injection, you need to go for a trained professional to administer the drug properly and also get medical help in case of an allergic reaction.
3. Prevents squinting: Botox procedures may affect some people where they’re unable to raise the eyebrows or squinting. Sometimes prevents you from having proper facial expression.
4. Temporary solution: Once you start Botox injections, you have to continuously do that after every three to six months if you want to maintain your new found beauty.
5. Cost: Botox costs $250 to $1500 depending on how much product is required to relax your facial muscles of expression.
6. Failure: Most Botox is carried out for aesthetic purposes and sometimes if done by a non- professional can make you look worse. Thus, it’s good to consult an aesthetic physician when deciding if it is good procedure for you.
7. Side effects: Bruising is the common temporary side effect of the drug. A small percentage of people complain of a slight temporary headache and eyelid drooping.
8. Paralyze unintended muscle: If it is done on the wrong area, it can cause temporary muscle paralysis or a look you didn’t want.
9. Painful: Botox procedure is administered through tiny needles which can be painful to some patients who fear needles. Most aesthetic physicians use local or topical anesthesia to prevent client discomfort.
Botox the Anti-Aging procedure?! After 20 plus years of documented Botox use have we found the Fountain of Youth or empty promises? By repeatedly relaxing the overactive muscles that cause deep wrinkles and furrows, the skin remains more youthful over time. Ongoing Botox treatments may cause the face to “age less” over time.