The Pros and Cons of Botox
Botox is a very popular method to treat wrinkles, have smoother skin and look younger. Both men and women use it for cosmetic enhancement. Some even self-administer it, and others have "botox parties" in which everyone gets the treatment in a non-medical setting. Both practices are discouraged because of the risks involved, but they indicate just how popular botox treatments have become.
Botox is the abbreviated name for botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein. It is a chemical produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. It is the same microorganism that causes botulism or food poisoning. Botox works by blocking muscle-to-nerve transmission of acetylcholine, which then leads to muscle paralysis and prevents contraction. When muscles around the puppet lines or wrinkles are paralyzed, the creases temporarily go away. The skin smoothens and looks more youthful. However, this only lasts for a limited time, usually two to eight months. After this time, botox must be re-administered to get rid of the wrinkles that have reappeared.
Botox is not used solely for the treatment of wrinkles and facial creases. Botox is often a standard part of the therapy for cerebral palsy, torticollis, incontinence and hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration). Because botox is very effective in treating involuntary spasms, it relieves the symptoms of cervical dystonia, strabismus, blepharospasm and similar conditions.
As a cosmetic procedure, botox is most often used to remove severe frown lines, especially brow lines or glabellar lines. It is an approved procedure for adults aged 65 years or younger.
Botox is a simple procedure, and this is one reason that it is very popular. No anaesthesia is required, and it takes but a few minutes. All that is involved is the injection in to specific facial muscles using a narrow-gauge needle. Compared to other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, botox is much simpler and not as invasive, and there is no long recovery period involved. Busy people can easily work their schedules around a quick visit to the clinic for a botox injection.
Botox is also relatively inexpensive. A botox treatment costs $200 to $300 on average, which is considerably more affordable than other cosmetic procedures.
Another great thing about botox is that the effects are seen immediately. Frown lines disappear quickly after just a day or two afterwards the botox injection. In general, it takes no more than one week for the full effects of botox treatment to be noticed.
Like all medical procedures, however, botox does have some side effects. In most cases, these side effects are temporary and mild. After having botox injected on their face, some people may experience mild bruising and headaches. These are not something to worry about, as they usually disappear after a while, often within 24 to 48 hours. Bruising is the most common side effect, and it can be very unsightly at first. However, as mentioned, it will not last for longer than one or two days. For the headaches, pain relievers may be taken for relief.
Another common side effect of botox is eyelid drooping, referred to as blepharoptosis in medical jargon. This happens when muscles that raise the eyelids are affected by the botox injection. It is a temporary condition, and it should not be a reason to worry.
There are isolated instances when it is not just the eyelid muscles that are affected by the botox injection, but also the muscles that move the eyeballs. As a result, there may be temporary loss of peripheral or central vision. Normal vision will be restored after a while.
Sometimes, botox can also cause flu-like symptoms, especially in someone who has a weakened immune system. Botox, after all, is a bacterial toxin, and as such, it can cause an immune reaction. The flu-like symptoms that can occur include mild fever, fatigue and muscle aches.
Generally, its side effects are not the worst disadvantage of botox treatment. It is the temporary nature of the results that makes botox less appealing to some people. A person has to take another botox injection when the effects wear off, and this can be anywhere between two to eight months after the initial injection. With repeated injections, he is also likely to develop immunity to botox, and the dosage of the toxin has to be increased to produce the same effect. Botox then becomes expensive in the long run.
There are many pros and cons to botox treatment, and these should be considered by someone who thinks of having one. What is important to bear in mind is that when he does decide to have botox, he should choose a qualified medical practitioner to perform the treatment.
|Posted on April 12, 2012, 7:34 pm|
|Posted on October 11, 2012, 7:49 pm|