Botox is the most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure today. Its purpose is to smooth out worry lines or crow’s feet around your eyes that develop as part of the aging process. It seems like the perfect quick fix for wrinkles that make you look tired and older.
With more and more people using Botox, it’s understandable to have some questions or concerns about using it for yourself. Take the following points into consideration if you’re still having second thoughts.
Origins of Botox
“Botox” is a shortened word for Botulinum Toxin, a product generated by the Clostridium Botulinum bacterium. While its use dates back to 1920, Botox has only been marketed commercially since 1997. It was after using Botox in the face to treat muscle spasms and imbalanced eye muscles that the product’s efficacy for reducing wrinkles and fine lines was discovered.
How Botox Works
The word “toxin” is frightening to some, but Botox doesn’t kill nerves. It simply interferes with nerve impulses to temporarily stop facial muscles from contracting. This allows fine lines and wrinkles to smooth out.
To be effective, a medical provider must inject the right amount of Botox into the correct muscle. His or her knowledge of facial anatomy allows for a safe, successful procedure.
Preparing for a Botox Injection
Botox is delivered through a very fine needle that may cause a slight pinching sensation. For most patients, Botox is painless enough that no anesthetic is required. If you are more sensitive, ask your medical provider about applying ice or an anesthetic cream prior to injections.
What to Expect After the Injection
Fine lines typically begin to relax in three to five days, but it may take up to seven days to see more established wrinkles soften. The results last for three to four months. Deep wrinkles may require dermal fillers, in addition to Botox, for an ideal result.
Temporary redness or swelling is normal around the injection sites, and small bruises can sometimes occur. It’s important to speak with your medical provider about other potential risks.
Botox Treatment Cost
Prices vary based on the number of units used and the medical provider you select to perform the injections. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report indicates the average fee is $365 per treated area (crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead, etc.).