Do you ever wish you could turn back the hands of time to erase some of the years off your face? Botox treatments are a temporary procedure that many people undergo today to smooth out some of their age lines and regain a more youthful appearance.
A Non-Surgical Approach
One particularly appealing aspect of Botox treatments is that it is a non-surgical approach that can be done right in the physician’s office. It requires little or no recovery time yet is often able to achieve dramatic (although short-term) results.
A Growing Trend
The use of Botox injections, which are made from bacteria called botulinum, was approved by the FDA in 2002 to be used for cosmetic purposes. Since then, the treatment has become widely available throughout the United States and in countries around the world. Although most insurance companies won’t pay for this, many people are willing to shell out a few thousand dollars a year in the hopes of achieving younger, smoother skin.
How It Works
When you smile, frown or squint, the repetitive motion of your muscles over time can leave deep wrinkles on your forehead and around your eyes and mouth. To reverse the effects, Botox is injected into the muscles in order to paralyze them. This weakening of the muscle results in smoother looking skin, yet still allows enough movement for you to have normal facial expressions. (Note that Botox doesn’t work on those fine wrinkles which aren’t caused by muscle movement.)
What To Expect
Botox injections are typically performed by a plastic surgeon right in his or her office. The procedure takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the severity of the wrinkles, and there is very little pain or discomfort for most patients. (Some physicians will numb the area first to make it even more comfortable for patients.) Some patients can experience some light bruising in the treated area but they are able to resume their normal activities immediately.
Smoother (or in many cases, even unwrinkled) skin can typically be seen within a day or two of the procedure. The results last anywhere from a few months to close to a year. With repeated treatments, however, the results can be longer lasting as the muscle consistently becomes weaker.
Plastic surgeons report few serious risks associated with Botox treatments. Some of the possible side effects experienced are typically short-term problems, such as a drooping eyelid that can last for several months and an inability to raise your eyebrows. However, women who are pregnant or have certain nervous system disorders and other serious medical conditions may not be good candidates for the procedure.