Botox Cosmetic is probably the most famous treatment in the world to reduce visible symptoms of aging, as its popularity has taken off from Brazil to India. It is injected to temporarily smooth wrinkles and lines around the eyes and lips and creases on the forehead, chin, and neck.
Botox is a diluted and purified form of the botulinum toxin type A, a nerve paralyzer, which an eye doctor discovered a century ago was effective in treating crossed eyes and uncontrolled blinking. The current common cosmetic uses were being applied by doctors long before the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved them in 2002. Over 11 million people have received Botox injections and only relatively few have had temporary bruising or headaches. However, patients have much more assurance of a proper assessment of the needs of the patient in a doctor’s office, but also careful administration of a high-quality product. News stories abound about complications when shots are given by untrained individuals.
Botox is injected with an ultra-fine syringe in low doses into muscles around the face, blocking the nerves causing contractions that result in lines that make the individual look older. It has most popularly been used to reduce crow’s feet around the eyes and frown lines between the eyebrows. Likewise, “smile and frown lines” can be made to disappear for a while with the procedure.
The first treatment may take several days before the results appear because Botox binds a connection between muscles and nerves called the motor endplate. The maximum effect may take a few weeks to show and typically last 3-6 months. With repeated treatments, the muscles shrink and lines are nor created so fast or obvious from the natural contractions. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity do not respond to Botox.
To avoid bruising, it is best to stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before Botox treatment. Doctors generally also recommend abstaining from alcohol a week in advance to avoid possible complications. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not receive Botox injections.
Botox has been found to have other medical benefits, such as for treating migraine headaches and excessive sweating. Individuals suffering from dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints (the hinges that connect the lower jaw to the skull) have found Botox can relieve the associated headaches and pain. Those who grind their teeth at night can reduce this unconscious habit to save their teeth from being further damaged with shots of Botox.
Botox used for cosmetic purposes is not covered by insurance, but is provided at an affordable price, considering its benefits and how long it lasts.
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