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What’s the scoop on Botox?

Botox is probably the easiest way to reverse signs of aging. Botox is a specific brand of botulinum toxin A. There are other cosmetic brands of the toxin- Dysport and Xeomin. All of the products work the same way, they create a temporary paralysis of specific muscles which results in relaxation of wrinkles. By relaxing the muscles, there is also a prevention of deep lines and wrinkles.

Botox is one of the most common and easiest cosmetic procedures performed. It is delivered into the skin through tiny injections. The effect takes about 5-10 days to be seen, but after this time you will notice softening or even disappearance of lines and wrinkles.

Botox is mostly used for lines on the forehead, between the eyes (frown lines)  and around the eyes (smile lines). It can be used in small amounts around the mouth.  Botox is also used in the medical setting for headaches and other neurological and muscular disorders.

Is it safe? Yes. As long as an FDA approved product is used in the appropriate location and amount, serious side effects are rare and almost never seen with cosmetic Botox. Possible side effects include bleeding or bruising (usually minimal in the hands of a good injector), headache or asymmetry.  Your injector should alway go over the possible side effects and make the drug insert available to you prior to injection. They should also let you know what product is being used and how much is being injected.

Who should not have Botox? If you have a history of neuromuscular disease (including, but not limited to, myasthenia gravis or Guillan Barre) , are breastfeeding or pregnant you should not get Botox. Botox is a medical drug, so make sure your injector knows your medical history.

How much does it cost? This depends on the area treated. Typical costs range from $300 to $600. This also varies by region of the country.

How long does it last? The effects of Botox are temporary- which is a good thing if you don’t like your results! In general the effects last 2-6 months. If you continue to have injections, some people find they need less product and it lasts longer, however- some people need more because they recruit other muscles.

Can it be reversed? Unfortunately no. If you don’t like the appearance it will need to wear off. However, often a suboptimal appearance can often be fixed with strategic placement of a few units. Always call your injector if you are concerned or unhappy. A good injector will want to know.

When do people start getting botox? Women of all ages get Botox, some starting in their twenties and early thirties.  It is more difficult (and sometimes impossible) to reverse deep lines, so starting early can be of benefit.

Hopefully this post has de-mystified Botox a bit. It is an easy and quick way to brighten your appearance!

 

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