Since its emergence early this century, Botox has taken the cosmetic treatment world by storm. Even one year after it was approved in the United States it generated sales of US$440 million. Since then, the popularity of Botox has grown steadily and it is now used regularly by millions of people around the world, with sales topping the US$2 billion mark in 2015.
What is Botox?
Botox is the trade name for the neurotoxin Botulinum Toxin Type A. It was initially approved to treat neck and shoulder spasms, eyelid tics, excessive sweating and other conditions in the United States in 2000 before it received the go-ahead for cosmetic use in 2003. Since then it has been approved for more and more uses, including treating migraine, in countries around the world.
How Does It Work?
Basically, Botox helps cosmetically remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles in the area injected. While Botulinum itself is toxic, it is harmless if administered properly and in the right amounts. Very small concentrations will cut off the signals sent by nerves to the muscles, effectively removing facial wrinkles and lines in older adults.
Is Botox Safe?
In short, yes, Botox treatment is very safe, especially when you consider that Botulinum is quite toxic in larger amounts. While there have been a few horror stories related to Botox treatment, these have been very rare, especially considering that more than 6 million treatments are administered around the world every year.
“Any medication has risks, but the safety record for Botox is actually very robust,” Hayley Goldbach, a resident physician of dermatology at the University of California-Los Angeles Health, told the Guardian last year. “And consider that there have been tens of millions of patients treated with Botox.”
Nevertheless, Botox can have some negative side effects, much as any prescription medication can. Remember that Botox effectively weakens your muscles, so there is a slight risk of numbness, weakness and other problems as the toxin takes effect.
Another issue can occur when the Botox spreads to an unwanted area, creating unwanted physical effects such as a drooping eyebrow our eyelid. None of these side effects are dangerous and proponents of Botox point to the fact that, because the effects of the toxin are temporary, any unwanted effects will wear off in time.
Botox and Human Error
Most complications associated with Botox treatment arise from some form of human error, either on the part of the person administering the treatment or, sometimes, the patient. If the procedure is carried out by a trained and experienced professional who has all the information they need, then the chances of complications are very, very low.
If you want to keep the risks to the absolute minimum, we recommend you take the following precautions:
Avoid Deals – Botox treatment isn’t cheap and there is a thriving black market that is flooded with inferior products administered by poorly trained or even untrained individuals. If the price of treatment looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Only use the services of reputable clinics with a proven track record. Be sure to read client testimonials, talk to friends and check out social media to find a good clinic in your area.
Don’t Overdo It – Many first-time Botox users are amazed at the effects it has and there can be a temptation to return for more treatment sooner rather than later. However, frequently applying Botox to the same area can weaken muscles so much they can’t support the flesh. The results, such as drooping eyelids, do not look good and can be painful in some cases. A good, experienced physician will advise you on a long-term, risk-free Botox treatment programme that will keep you looking great with no unwanted side-effects.
Speak Up – It is essential to be completely honest with your physician ahead of any Botox treatment and especially if you are receiving treatment for the first time. There may be a temptation to keep some of your medical history under wraps if you really want Botox treatment, but it is never a good idea. Your doctor should know about any allergies, previous Botox treatments, cosmetic surgeries, muscle and nerve conditions, etc. Failing to speak up could spell disaster down the road.
As with any medical procedure, it is always good to know the facts before you commit for the first time. If you are considering getting Botox treatment, here are a few things you should be aware of:
- If possible, avoid taking blood-thinning medicines, such as aspirin, for a few hours before the treatment.
- A single Botox treatment procedure typically takes no more than 30 minutes.
- Most medical practitioners use micro-needles to administer the Botox, so the treatment is virtually pain free.
- It is best to avoid strenuous physical activity for four hours after treatment. You can, however, return to most daily activities, including work, immediately after the treatment.
- Botox can take 24-72 hours to take effect.
- About 1 per cent of people treated with Botox develop antibodies that make future treatments ineffective.
- There is a risk of allergic reactions, such as hives and rashes, after treatment, but these usually fade quickly.
- The effects of Botox treatment usually last between four and six months.
- Recent studies suggest that Botox treatment can actually reduce depression and make you happier by reducing your ability to frown.
As the first accredited cosmetic clinic in Australia, Skincity Skin Centre is committed to providing the very best cosmetic care while delivering ultimate peace of mind. Contact us today for honest advice on the safest and most effective skin treatment for you.