During the COVID 19 pandemic, there has been a surge in the demand for cosmetic treatments, including Botox and other cosmetic fillers. Plastic surgeons have attributed the boom to increased time to attend appointments and recover from treatments, as well as people wanting to put their best face forward for online Zoom meetings.
The number of Botox procedures has increased significantly over the past few years. According to global insights, botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the United States with a market size value of more than $4.7 billion.
What is Botox?
Botox, also known as botulinum toxin, is a cosmetic treatment that is used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. It also treats conditions such as excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), neck spasms (cervical dystonia), lazy eye, and an overactive bladder. Botox treatments also help in the prevention of chronic migraines.
Botox temporarily smoothens the “frown lines” which are located between your eyebrows. These lines can make you look angry, unhappy, or tired. The cosmetic is FDA-approved for this use as well as for treatment of other medical conditions. However, it is also used off-label for smoker lines around the lips, horizontal forehead lines, and marionette lines that form at the corners of the mouth, as well as crow’s feet.
Botox cosmetics should not be confused with injectable fillers. Injectable fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, or Juvederm work by plumping up tissues to make the wrinkles and lines disappear. A Botox specialist can help you choose a product that will solve your specific appearance issues.
Face Areas Where Botox Can Be Used
Botox treatments provide wrinkle-free skin to several areas of the body. These areas include:
- Areas around the eyes: The skin area surrounding the eyes is sensitive to facial movements that happen all the time; laughing, smiling, and squinting can form Crows Feet. Botox helps to relax the muscles surrounding your eyes, providing a smooth facial profile with no crinkles and wrinkles.
- The Lips’ surroundings: Many people like having fuller-looking lips that epitomize desirability and youthfulness. Botox can help remove smokers’ lines from the lip area. It can also help you get a more visually attractive and relaxed smiling visage if your mouth is naturally curved downward.
- The forehead: Facial expressions can cause surprise lines on your forehead; if untreated, this can give rise to permanent creases. Botox helps to remove these lines that occur as a result of stress or worrying.
- Around the eyebrows: Eyebrows are involved in every facial expression, which can cause a drastic change in your appearance. You will see those frown lines disappear days after Botox injection is administered around your eyes. The treatment will also raise the eyebrows and create a beautiful arch to makes your eyes appear larger.
How Botox Works
Botox is classified as a neurotoxin – a substance that targets the nervous system. It works by disrupting nerve signaling to reduce stimulation of muscle contraction, which causes temporary muscle paralysis.
For any muscle to contract, nerves must release acetylcholine (a chemical messenger) at the junction where muscle cells and nerve endings meet. The chemical attaches to muscle receptors and causes cell contraction. Botox prevents the release of acetylcholine, which stops the muscle cells from contracting. In this way, muscles stiffness reduces.
Botox is administered to the muscle under the skin using a fine needle to block nerve-muscle signals. Over time, the skin improves in texture, quality, and tone to become smoother.
This procedure takes a few minutes at a Botox spa. To prevent migration of Botox from the treatment areas, patients are advised not to manipulate the injected area or lay downwards four to six hours after the procedure.
Beyond cosmetic applications, Botox treats many medical conditions, including Bell’s palsy, eye spasm, headache, urinary incontinence, and excessive sweating.
How To Prepare For a Botox Treatment Session
First, you need to inform your Botox specialist if you take allergy medications, sleeping aids, or muscle relaxants, and about any Botox treatment you may have had within the past four months. Avoid taking blood thinners several days before having a Botox injection. This reduces the risk of bruising or bleeding.
What to Expect in a Botox Session
Being a non-surgical procedure, anesthesia is not necessary as the discomfort is minor with a relatively pain-free experience. However, some topical anesthetic numbing cream may be applied to the target area of injection. Some patients may experience minor bruising at injection areas. Before the specialist begins the Botox treatment session, you’ll be taken through post-treatment guidelines. Discussed below is a description of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure:
Before the procedure
Don’t feel overly nervous as there will be very little discomfort during the procedure. If your soles or palms are being treated for excessive sweating, it’s important for your skin to be numbed beforehand. There are several methods of numbing the target skin area, including ice, topical anesthesia, and vibration anesthesia, which reduces discomfort through massage.
During the procedure
Botox treatment is usually performed in the office of a Botox specialist. A thin needle is used to inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into your muscle or skin. Depending on the extent of the treatment area, you may receive several injections.
After the procedure
The treated areas should not be rubbed or massaged for 24 hours to prevent the toxin from spreading to other unnecessary areas. Right after the procedure, you can return to your normal activities based on the specialist’s advice.
You will begin seeing the results from this treatment within five days after the administration of Botox injections. Depending on what is being treated, the effect can last three months or more. Regular follow-up injections to maintain the effect will be necessary.
How Long Does Botox Last?
Everyone is different, so the answer varies from patient to patient. Botox effect typically lasts for three to six months. After this period of time, muscle action returns gradually, which makes wrinkles and lines to begin reappearing. Over time with repeat treatments, returning wrinkles and lines often appear less severe; the overlying skin becomes less folded and creased since the muscles have already learned to relax.
How to Know If You’re a Good Candidate For Botox
Botox Cosmetic has been approved by the FDA for people aged 18 to 65 in the United States. But you may not be a suitable candidate for Botox due to one of the following factors:
- If you happen to be allergic to any other botulinum toxin brand, including Xeomin, Dysport, or Myobloc, or if you’ve previously had any serious side effects from these products.
- If you’re allergic to any ingredients in Botox Cosmetic or Botox.
- If there’s an infection or any condition around the skin area that is to be injected.
- If you have breathing issues such as asthma.
- If you have bleeding issues.
- If you experience problems when swallowing.
- If you have previously undergone facial surgery.
- If you have drooping eyelids.
- If your forehead muscles are weak.
- If you are preparing to undergo another surgical procedure.
- If you are under medications or have recently taken certain supplements, vitamins, or medications.
- If you have Lambert-Eaton syndrome, myasthenia gravis, or any another disease that affects your nerves or muscles.
Botox Cosmetic does not travel far enough into the body to affect a breastfeeding infant or a developing fetus. But since no clinical studies have been done on pregnant or nursing mothers, it’s advisable to avoid Botox injections for ethical reasons. It’s always better to be safe since you can have Botox later on.
Benefits of Botox Injections
By subtly removing lines and wrinkles on your face caused by stress or aging, you will significantly enhance your look, which results in a more youthful and confident self. Many patients that have undergone treatment for Botox in Los Angeles say that reducing wrinkles using Botox boosts overall self-appreciation, confidence, and energy. Here are a few medical and cosmetic benefits of Botox treatment:
- It’s a simple solution for reducing wrinkles and lines using a non-surgical procedure: in terms of popularity, Botox has grown bounds and leaps as a non-surgical procedure that reduces wrinkles. It helps to create smoother skin and lifts drooping eyebrows.
- Reduces hyperhidrosis: the problem of sweating excessively can be embarrassing. Mild cases of this kind can be treated with prescription antiperspirants. However, those with severe cases of hyperhidrosis can get a solution from Botox treatment which mitigates the problem at a time for several months.
- Treatment of migraine pain: Botox helps to reduce migraine pain through relaxation of muscles that cause tension in the head.
- Reduction of prostate glands: frequent urination can be a humiliating experience and Botox helps to relieve this problem. When Botox is injected directly into the prostate gland, it improves the flow of urine.
Risks And Side Effects Associated with Botox Treatment
When Botox treatment is performed by an experienced Botox specialist, these injections are relatively safe. However, there is a risk of possible complications and side effects occurring. This may include:
- Headache or flu-like symptoms.
- Swelling, bruising, or pain at the injection site.
- Excessive tearing or eye dryness.
- Cockeyed eyebrows or droopy eyelids.
- Crooked smile.
On very rare occasions, the toxin in Botox injection can potentially spread into your body. If you happen to notice one of the following effects hours or weeks after receiving Botox injections, call your doctor right away:
- Loss of bladder control.
- Vision problems.
- Muscle weakness.
- Breathing problems.
- Trouble swallowing or speaking.
Aside from pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, people who are affected by allergies resulting from cow milk should avoid Botox.
What You Can Do To Avoid Botox Side Effects
While the list of possible side effects that result from using Botox is long, it’s extremely rare to experience all of them. To prevent or minimize the most common side effects of Botox, you can follow the following tips:
- Avoid “Botox party” injections at someone’s house. The procedure should be conducted in a medical setting for proper management of any potential side effects. During the “party,” you may not realize the final effects of the injections since they take a few days to weeks before showing up. While it’s not a bad idea if it’s held in a medical setting by a doctor, there’s a potential risk of divided attention between you and the other attendees.
- Ensure the Botox specialist attending to you is a respected medical professional and very experienced at Botox injections. Salon stylists shouldn’t administer Botox since they lack sufficient medical knowledge and emergency equipment if something goes wrong.
- Remember to inform your practitioner about herbal preparations, vitamins, supplements, or other medications you take since Botox could react with some of these combinations to cause serious side effects. Don’t forget to mention having taken muscle relaxants, injected antibiotics, cold medicines, as well as sleep and allergy medicines.
- Before taking Botox injections, also inform your doctor about any health issues you may have.
- Report side effects that fail to go away or bother you a lot.
- Follow your specialist’s pre- and post- Botox injection instructions carefully.
Things To Avoid After a Botox Procedure
Being a non-invasive cosmetic/medication, it can be tempting to overdo certain things soon after a Botox treatment. Avoid the following activities after a Botox procedure to receive the best possible results:
- Exercise: After the injections are administered, you should allow Botox to settle in the body for at least 24 hours before engaging yourself in any kind of workouts. This includes strenuous physical activities.
- Alcohol consumption: Taking alcohol after a Botox treatment can make you bruise your injected skin. You need to avoid consuming alcohol a few days before and after the procedure.
- Rubbing the injection area: Injections naturally causes some irritations, and you may feel like rubbing or massaging the injected area. To keep Botox where you want it to be, don’t rub it as it can shift into other unwanted areas.
- Heat exposure: As a result of the swelling and redness that accompanies Botox treatment, keep yourself under a shade until the swelling disappears. Endeavor to stay away from all activities that relate to sunbathing.
- Sleeping on your face: Avoid sleeping with your stomach facing down soon after the Botox procedure. Even if you’re just taking a simple nap, putting pressure on the injected areas can shift the Botox out of place.
- Blood thinners: Right before and after the Botox procedure, avoid taking blood thinners. This prevents bruising or excess bleeding in the injection areas.
When Is The Right Time To Get a Botox Injection?
Well, every individual is different, and there’s no specific or ideal age when one should go for Botox treatment. As a preventive measure against forming lines and wrinkles, some people may decide to start the procedure while in their 20’s. Typically, wrinkles form more easily when collagen in the skin starts to break down after people attain 30 years and older.
Botox helps to relax facial muscles and prevents the embedding of expression lines that form wrinkles in the skin. The treatment is an option for anyone who wants to prevent or reduce the lasting effects of wrinkles and expression lines. To achieve the best results from Botox in Los Angeles, ensure to follow all aftercare instructions from your Botox specialist.