You have probably heard about it from the media, friends or even family: Botox treatments are very popular. More and more people are opting for the procedure as they grow older and wrinkles form because of collagen depletion and cellular changes. Facial muscle activity, such as squinting or frowning, can cause wrinkles to form. Botox treatments work under the surface to control the muscle activities that cause these wrinkles. If you’re considering Botox, here is what you should know about Botox before going in for a treatment.
What is Botox?
Botox is a toxin produced by an organism known as Clostridium Botulinum. The word Botox results from shortening the name Botulinum Toxin. It is a deadly toxin; however, when used in small concentrations, it is not dangerous. The toxin is also mixed with sodium chloride before it is injected to a patient.
The Botulinum toxin can temporarily reduce the activity of the muscles around your face, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
How does Botox work?
Acetylcholine is a natural neurotransmitter produced in the body. The chemical messenger is part of the process that enables your muscles to contract. The Botulinum toxin works by blocking the release of acetylcholine. Without the neurotransmitter, the muscle cells cannot contract. Since the muscles are not contracting, the wrinkles relax, and the lines disappear. Botox can be used on frown lines, crow’s feet and other wrinkles that are not caused by gravity or sun-damage.
Preparing for the procedure
Even though the Botox treatment only takes a few minutes, you need to prepare for the procedure in advance. Your doctor will advise you to avoid alcohol for at least one week before the Botox treatment. In order to reduce bruising, you should also stop taking anti-inflammatory medication or aspirin at least two weeks before the procedure.
What does the procedure entail?
Botox is usually administered using a needle. You do not need anesthesia because the treatment is nearly painless; you will only experience a little discomfort. The doctor has to target specific muscles carefully for the procedure to be successful.
The results of Botox treatments
It takes about three days for the Botox injection to take full anti aging effect and the wrinkles to disappear. Botox injections are not permanent. The effects will only last for a maximum of about six months. The muscle activity slowly returns after six months, and the wrinkles reappear. However, with regular treatments, the wrinkles will be less severe, since the muscles are trained to be in a more relaxed position.