Although Botox began as a treatment for medical maladies, in 1992, an ophthalmologist noticed that patients who used Botox as a treatment for their blepharospasm developed a noticeable reduction in their frown lines- the wrinkles and fine lines that appear between and above the brows while frowning. After a series of studies and trials, in 2002, the FDA approved Botox as a cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines. Botox is currently the most sought after minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States.
What is Botox?
Botox is the trade name for “botulinum toxin type A” (also known as “onabotulinumtoxin A”), which is a purified protein and toxin derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. The Clostridium botulinum is a type of toxin that is capable of causing a form of serious and life-threatening food poisoning known as “botulism” when ingested by humans and animals. However, when purified into a crystalline form and then injected intravenously in small amounts, this toxin does not act as a poison but as a temporary muscle relaxant.
Why do patients want Botox?
While there are patients who seek Botox as a treatment for medical conditions such as strabismus or chronic neck pain, the majority of patients who seek Botox treatments do so for cosmetic reasons.
As people get older, their faces will naturally begin to develop wrinkles and fine lines, as skin loses its elasticity and the face loses its youthful volume; the development of wrinkles is one of the main indicators of age. For ages, people have tried, often unsuccessfully to eliminate their fine lines and wrinkles with facial creams, homemade remedies, and even surgery.
Until the approval of Botox, most people who wanted to get rid of their wrinkles had to rely on a surgical “facelift” in order to do so, but this tended to result in a face that looked unnaturally taut and volume-less. But thanks to Botox, people do not have to turn to surgery to treat the appearance of their fine lines and wrinkles, particularly in their eyebrow region.
Botox has the ability to bring about temporary paralysis to muscles when it is injected intravenously into target areas, meaning that when injected into targeted areas on and around the eyebrow region, it can aesthetically improve the appearance of that area by reducing the visibility of moderate to severe frown lines. It is the ability of Botox to cosmetically reduce the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines that attracts the majority of Botox patients.
What makes Botox aesthetically effective?
Botox is so aesthetically effective because it can cause paralysis of muscles, essentially causing a temporary cessation of the development of fine lines and wrinkles. In other words, Botox can paralyze or “relax” muscles to the point that they do not contract. Stopping the contraction of muscles stops wrinkles from showing.
More specifically, when injected, Botox goes to work at relaxing your muscles by blocking the signals from your brain that tell your muscles in the targeted area to contract. If the muscles cannot contract, the skin covering the muscle will not contract either, preventing the appearance of wrinkles.
The face is typically the area of the body that is first looked at when meeting someone for the first time; following this, people try to always put their best “face” forward. When fine lines and wrinkles begin to develop, the appearance of your face will give your age away more and more easily. Botox can quickly and effectively help remedy this problem, without any need to go under the knife!
Who is a good candidate for Botox?
If you are between the ages of 18 to 65, would like to improve the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines (between and around the eyebrows), and are in at least average health with no underlying medical conditions, then you are likely a good candidate for Botox.
However, Botox is not recommended for patients who:
If you are considering Botox, be sure to tell your cosmetic surgeon about any and all medical conditions you have as well as any medicines (both prescribed and over-the-counter) that you are currently taking.
What to expect during a Botox procedure
Due to the minimally-invasive nature of the Botox procedure, most procedures can be completed within thirty minutes with and without the use of any sedatives or anesthetic, although topical numbing cream may be used on injection sites as needed. The Botox is intravenously injected by the cosmetic surgeon using a tiny micro-needle that is so fine that most patients report the sensations caused by the injections as comparable to the discomfort caused by a bug bite.
The areas that are to be targeted are determined by the cosmetic surgeon prior to the start of the procedure, with only a small amount of Botox needed within each injection. The amount and location of the injections that will be needed to bring about the desired results will differ from patient to patient.
What to expect during recovery from a Botox procedure
Since Botox treatments do not require sedation or anesthesia, and is minimally-invasive, patients can get back to their day and return to their jobs virtually right after their Botox treatments. Although some patients may experience slight bruising or reddening at the injection sites, they should fade away within a few hours and can easily be covered up with makeup. Bruising and swelling can be minimized by applying a cold compress to the treated areas immediately after the procedure.
It is recommended that patients refrain from lying down for 3-4 hours and from rubbing the treated areas for about 12 hours after a Botox treatment to prevent the freshly injected Botox from moving around and causing the eyelids or other areas of the face to droop. It is advised that patients do not participate in any strenuous exercise or activity for at least 24 hours after a Botox treatment.
Although recovery from Botox has been known to be relatively quick and efficient, you should follow any post-treatment care instructions that your cosmetic surgeon gives you. Full results may not be realized until three to ten days after a Botox treatment. If you notice the development of any complications or issues, contact your plastic surgeon right away.
If you would like you find out more about Botox and how it can help you improve the appearance of your frown lines, please contact us at 614.682.5005 or fill out our contact form online to request a FREE consultation!
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