Considering Botox? Here's what you need to know.

There are many uses for Botox. Not only is it an extremely popular choice as an anti-ageing treatment but it has numerous medical uses as well. If you suffer from chronic migraines Botox is proven to reduce this by targeting the areas that make you tense and lead to migraine. Botox is also used in women who suffer from urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder.  Another use is in those who have a problem with sweating with the Botox being injected into the skin. Whilst these treatments are for medical purposes it is safe to say that Botox became most popular for its anti-ageing properties and as a cosmetic procedure on the frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes that many of us suffer with as we progress through life. If you are considering Botox for cosmetic purposed then here's what you need to know.

What is Botox?

Botox is made from the neurotoxin produced by Botulinum Toxin A – whilst it is the bacteria that causes Botulism it is used in such small quantities when injected as Botox. It is injected into specific muscles between the brows, across the forehead and around the eyes to paralyse the muscles and prevent the action of the muscles that cause the wrinkles or frown lines. Some people prefer to have a completely smooth look devoid of any expression whilst others prefer a more subtle approach to just tone down the lines and wrinkles. To achieve this, different amounts of Botox are injected into each site. Some people have very stubborn frown lines between their brows which gives them an angry look and just choose to have this area treated whilst others like to have a more youthful appearance. The beauty of Botox is that you can choose the look you want to achieve.

Does Botox hurt?

Everyone has a different pain threshold and whilst some may feel that the injections hurt, others notice no pain whatsoever. The injections are administered using very small needles so whilst it doesn't hurt as such you may feel a stinging sensation. Usually several injections are used across the site or sites being treated. A professional will use something to wipe the skin and numb the area slightly before administering the injections as well as cleaning the area with an antiseptic based wipe.

How long do the effects of Botox last?

Generally, and depending on the severity of the wrinkles and frown lines, the treatment lasts around 3-6 months but every individual is different and results may vary. Over time as follow up treatments occur the results may last longer and the treatment will need repeating less frequently. As Botox paralyses the muscles used in the actions that cause the wrinkles the first step is to stop the muscles working – over time the ageing process will stop if regular treatments are given.

Is Botox safe?

Botox was approved by the FDA in 2002, although it was being used prior to this, and ever since has been used by millions of men and women across the world. Of course any medication carries risks but Botox has proven itself to be pretty robust. Of course like all medications there are the risks of side effects but these are clearly stated and as long as you follow the advice of the professionals you should have no cause for concern. Botox shouldn't be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have an underlying medical condition that makes it a higher risk. It is extremely important that you only have Botox injections by a licensed professional. Don't be tempted by low price alternatives by someone without any medical experience or certification. Make sure you seek a licensed and experienced practitioner.

The effects of Botox

Most people that have Botox notice the results within hours with the optimal results achieved within 2 weeks. If you are someone who frowns a lot you should start to notice the difference more on the second to third day after treatment although this can vary from person to person. Your practitioner will tell you to frown repeatedly to actively make the Botox get to work. It is generally advised to keep still after treatment where possible and not undergo any exercise – you don't want to be going for a run for a while. What you will need to do is focus on any exercises to the area to make sure your treatment has the best chance to produce the best results.

If you are considering Botox for cosmetic reasons then the first think you will need to do is consult a licensed and qualified practitioner that specialises in Botox. Only when you are happy that they have the relevant experience and expertise should you consider undergoing treatment. Book a consultation in the first instance and then you can go from there.

Sources, Retrieved Jan 2017, Overactive bladder

Medical News Today, Retrieved Jan 2017, How does Botox work?