Botox® is likely to be something you’ve heard of, perhaps during social events or even in movies. Its popularity is undeniable, but what is Botox® exactly and should you get Botox?
Botox® is a brand of neuromodulator and is made from botulinum toxin. It is heavily diluted for medical and cosmetic purposes.
When injected into muscle, this product has the effect of temporarily paralyzing the injected area. The result is ‘relaxed’, smoothed-out skin while visibly diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
If you’ve been thinking of getting Botox®, this post will discuss everything you need to know before making your decision.
Treatment Areas for Botox®
Botox® for cosmetic purposes is mainly used in the face.
Your face is composed of muscles and muscle groups, many of which are responsible for making facial expressions such as smiling and raising your eyebrows.
People with highly expressive facial gestures (such as smiling a lot, frowning a lot etc.) tend to crinkle their skin more often. Every time you move your facial muscles, the skin in that area also moves along with the muscle and can fold over itself and crease. When consistently repeated, these movements can crease the skin over and over again until fine lines and wrinkles appear. Think of your skin as a piece of paper: the more you fold it, the harder it is to undo the folds.
Areas such as the forehead, outer eye corners, and even the sides of the nose can be vulnerable to skin creasing and subsequently wrinkles. These areas can all be injected with Botox® to relax the underlying muscles.
Once the muscles are paralyzed temporarily, the skin will also relax and stop creasing, thus smoothing out the area. Routinely topping up your Botox® can essentially mean that area of skin will never have the opportunity to generate new wrinkles or worsen existing ones, kind of like freezing time!
Some areas suitable for cosmetic Botox® treatment include:
- Eye corners (also known as crow’s feet)
- Sides of the nose (bunny lines)
- In between the brows (frown lines or 11’s)
- Gummy smile
- Jaw muscles
- Lip flip
The use of Botox® is not limited to these areas. Depending on your personal circumstance and anatomy, your injector can suggest the best area(s) for injection.
Botox® can also be used for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
After being injected, the sweat glands are temporarily deactivated so you don’t have to worry about your underarms being soaked throughout the day. Severe headaches and migraines may also be treatable with Botox®, as these can sometimes be caused by high muscle tension and muscle spasms.
Possible Side Effects
As with any injection, Botox® can have possible risks and side effects.
The most common side effects of Botox would be swelling and bruising at the injection site.
The area may also feel warmer to the touch and be accompanied by tenderness. If it is your first time getting Botox®, these effects may be more noticeable.
Headaches are more rare but can occur especially with forehead area injection. The forehead muscles can temporarily become overactive and start contracting more than usual, thus leading to headaches.
The side effects listed above should not persist for more than a few days following injection, otherwise you may wish to follow up with your injector.
Incorrect injection technique and placement of Botox® can cause droopiness depending on where it was injected. Improper doses can also result in facial asymmetry.
These can possibly be corrected by changing the dosage, but it is important to remember that the effects of Botox® are not permanent and will last about 3-6 months, so any facial drooping or asymmetry will likely resolve on its own in time.
How to Minimize and Avoid Side Effects
Our top advice for all readers is always the same: find a licensed physician with a great deal of experience.
Injectors should be well acquainted with cosmetic injections and have an extensive understanding of facial anatomy. This will minimize your chances of having side effects, especially droopiness and asymmetry.
For more common side effects like swelling and bruising, try to avoid alcohol and blood thinners at least a day before and after your treatment. Ice packs can be applied for swelling.
Get Botox Without Worrying!
At Ovo Medi Spa, our highly skilled and experienced physicians always strive to provide our patients with the highest quality of service and safety.
If you are interested in Botox®, feel free to contact us for a free consultation where we address your areas of concerns, aesthetic goals, and design a bespoke treatment plan for you.