Botox injections are known for their ability to control the facial wrinkles and enhancing the overall appearance. It treats several conditions like cervical dystonia (neck spasms), hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), lazy eye and an overactive bladder. Botox injections can also work against chronic migraine.
Using a toxin known as onobotulinum toxin A, Botox injection can prevent muscle movement. The used toxin is formed from a microbe that leads to botulism, a kind o food poisoning condition. Botulinum to
xin was used first time by the Botox drug. Other products include Myobloc (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA) and Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA). Each of these products differs from each other in characteristics, so can’t be interchanged.
Do you want to go through a Botox treatment? If so, you need to know everything about the treatment before undergoing the process. Of course, you must see a doctor for clearer understanding of the process. But, we have tried giving you an idea of the benefits of Botox, how is it done, its origin and some risks you might encounter post treatment.
Benefits of Botox
Botox injections are used to treat various conditions, giving you an improved, flawless appearance. Read on to know what the benefits of Botox in treating specific conditions are:
Botox aids multiple eye conditions and doctors often prefer suggesting Botox injections to correct the issues of blepharospasm and strabismus. Blepharospasm is known as a condition that forcibly closes your eyelids. It is widely known as ‘rapid eye blinking’. Strabismus is a condition of eyes misalignment, popularly known as ‘crossed-eyed’. It is caused due to some kind of abnormality in neuromuscular control. It affects the movement of your eye. With Botox, both these conditions can be successfully treated.
This one might be hard to believe but Botox can treat the problem of excessive sweating. It is a proven technique to stifle the sweat glands by inhibiting the sweat glands. The scientific name of the medical issue is Primary Axillary Hyperhidrosis. According to several surveys by expert doctors, it was noted that people who took Botox injections were less sweaty. It is now recognized as a sweat controlling drug.
Overactive Bladder Treatment
Not just the doctors but the Food and Drug Association has also approved Botox for the treatment of patients suffering from an overactive bladder. If you are above 18 and have an overactive bladder, Botox can be one of the most beneficial forms of treatment.
However, doctors consider it as the last resort and try other medication before ending up suggesting a Botox treatment. In case the patient is not able to take other treatments or nothing else works for them, Botox remains to be the only reliable option. The symptoms of the medical condition, overactive bladder includes frequent urge to urinate, strong urge to urinate and wetting or leaking accidents.
As per studies, around 70% of women were treated with Botox for an overactive bladder. It reduced the urinating times, from five times a day to just three!
Although the FDA approval for using Botox for sex-related problems is still pending, Botox notably aids various sex-related problems. Some of the popular issues treated using Botox include painful sex for women. It is more common in women experiencing vaginal contractions or pelvic floor spasms.
Not just women, but men with conditions of premature ejaculation can also benefit from Botox treatment. For men, Botox is directly injected into the penis to relax the muscle, thus, delaying ejaculation.
Currently, Botox is under clinical trial to be proven as a useful treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
In the year 2010, FDA approved Botox as a treatment option for people experiencing chronic migraine attacks.
It was a plastic surgeon, who first noticed that people receiving Botox suffered less likely from migraine headaches. His observation led to further studies and research, which finally confirmed another benefit of Botox, reducing migraines.
To control migraine, the Botox treatment involves 31 injections given in different areas. Its effect lasts three months after which more injections may be necessary.
Abnormal heart rhythm
This one is yet to be confirmed through research and further studies. There is a rumor about a relationship between irregular heartbeats and Botox. Regular efforts are made to establish if Botox can be an effective treatment to aid abnormal heartbeat issues after open-heart surgery.
Early clinical trials have proven that Botox can be a useful treatment in reliving symptoms related to depression. The use of Botox works well on the facial feedback hypothesis, which says our facial expressions influence our mood.
In the year 2014, one of the studies inferred that 74 patients going through major depressive disorder showed that around 52% of those patients underwent Botox treatment and experienced lesser depressive symptoms. Placebo, in comparison to Botox, showed only 15% positive response.
Further trials are carried out to confirm the role of Botox in treating various mental illnesses.
At the Cold Hand Clinic of the University of Chicago, doctors use Botox to treat patients suffering from the problem of extremely cold hands. The treatment involves giving Botox injections directly into the hands. This is done to relax the muscle that encloses the constricted blood vessels, the cause of coldness.
As soon as the vessels in the muscle relax and expand, blood flows normally through the fingertips and hands, resulting in warmer hands. Botox treatment for cold hands offers relief for over three months after which you need to take the injections again.
Scarring from cleft lips
Again for this, FDA has not yet approved the benefit of Botox for scarring of cleft lips in babies. But, there’s a lot of science to back up this benefit. On an average, around 4,400 babies born every year, have cleft lips. Most of the parents opt for surgery to rectify the problem.
Some doctors have injected Botox into the babies’ scars with an intention to hold the muscle in place, giving them an good chance of healing. In most cases, this has worked!
Before its demand in the plastic surgery field, Botox was the most reliable treatment for neck spasms. A research of 2004, proved that Botox can greatly work in reducing the pain of people suffering from chronic neck pain due to CD (Cervical Dystonia). Doctors inject Botox into the muscles, blocking the signals consequently that causes muscle tightening and pain.
Origin of Botox
The origin of Botox is the bacteria, Clostidium Blotulinum, which scientists created for treating muscle spasms, as it has the ability to freeze the muscle. Over time, several patients found Botox to work positively for problems like eye spasms, neck spasms, etc and today, Botox cab cure everything from reducing crow’s feet to fine lines of your face.
Reasons why Botox is chosen over other treatments
Botox injections have the ability to block specific chemical signals from the nerves, mostly the ones causing contraction of muscles. Using this amazing ability, experts administer Botox injections for correcting various appearance issues like facial wrinkles. It can relax the facial muscles that are the reason behind those wrinkles around your eye and on the forehead.
Moreover, Botox is also a useful treatment for correcting conditions that impact on your body functions, such as lazy eye, neck spasms, eye twitching, cervical dystomnia, etc.
Risks of getting Botox treatment
Botox injections are mostly safe when carried out by a skilled and experienced doctor. However, there can be some possible side-effects and complications like:
- Pain, bruising or swelling at the site of injection
- Drooling or crooked smile
- Cockeyed eyebrows or droopy eyelid
- Flu-like symptoms or headache
- Excessive tearing or dryness of eye
Although very rare, it is quite possible that the toxin injected in your body can spread. If you notice any uninformed changes in your body, call your doctor immediately and book an appointment. These effects can show up after hours or weeks of the Botox treatment:
- Trouble swallowing or speaking
- Breathing problems
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Loss of bladder control
Note: Botox is not recommended during pregnancy or breast-feeding. If you are allergic to cow-milk protein, do not go for Botox.
The Process of Botox Treatment
The exact procedure of Botox treatment depends on your doctor. He/she can give you quick injections included in an in-office process. However, we will recommend you to go for a doctor who is specialized in the process. You can ask your family doctor or physician for referral.
Remember, Botox, as not approved by FDA U.S. for treating depression, cannot be covered in your health insurance.
The first step is to clean the area (to be treated) with alcohol and applying a numbing medication. Next is injecting Botox into the necessary muscle – if you are going to get Botox for your facial muscles, it will be injected into the muscle between the brows, which usually contracts as you frown.
After the procedure, you can get back to your daily activities the very same day. The cosmetic effects of the treatment lasts from 3-4 months, but the mental health benefits are still to be confirmed.
Things to look into to have a successful Botox treatment
Choosing the right doctor
Keep the following points in mind while choosing a Botox doctor:
- Consider their experience and credentials
- Have a research on the doctor’s earlier Botox treatments
- Check for online reviews
- Visit the doctor’s clinic for consultation
- See whether their philosophy match your goals
Making a plan with your doctor
- Share your goals behind getting the treatment
- Can you achieve those goals through Botox
- Consider your age
- Consider your budget
- Discuss your lifestyle with the doctor
- Ask if you need any supplementary treatments
Unknown facts about Botox treatment
It hurts, at least for a while
No matter how many people tell you the treatment is a painless process, you will only know the reality once you sit on the operation chair. No, we aren’t scaring you but helping you get ready for that little pain during the process.
The intensity of the pain depends on individual experiences. Some injections during the treatment are more intense than the pinprick ‘mosquito bite’ we expect. Even after using an ice pack, you might experience pain in the area for almost an hour after the treatment.
It is temporary
If you are thinking Botox lasts forever, you are wrong. It is a temporary process that lasts for a specific duration of months or years, depending on the type and area of treatment you choose. For lateral crows’ feet, forehead and glabella, Botox lasts for almost 3-4 months.
You can’t do certain things after the treatment
If you have to do somewhere right after the treatment or need to indulge in certain activities post treatment, it might not be necessarily possible. Some people say you can get back to your daily lifestyle right after Botox, but that’s not the case.
As per doctors instructions, you cannot exercise, take Ibuprofen or lie down immediately post treatment. Ibuprofen tends to increase the bruising of the treatment area. So, it is better to follow your dermatologist’s instructions.
Anybody can opt for Botox
There has always been a notion that many celebrities have undergone Botox for various reasons. That being true, the treatment doesn’t strictly restrict to A-lister celebrities. You can also undergo the treatment. It is expensive, but not unaffordable.
An average forehead treatment will cost your around $200 to $300, at $10-$15 per unit. The exact cost of Botox depends on factors like cost per unit, area of treatment and some others.
Undergoing Botox treatment isn’t a moral failing
There’s nothing wrong in desiring to look beautiful and attractive. You can get help to get away from those frowns and wrinkles, making you look angry or aged. There’s no harm in adding up a little to your natural beauty, not until you are comfortable with it.
You must ask how many unit you will get
When done right, Botox makes you look smoother, but definitely not plastic-y. So, to make sure you don’t look frozen, you must ask your plastic surgeon or dermatologist about the number of unite you will be getting during the course of the treatment. Every individual has a different face and skin type, the number of units can change depending on your type. However, it is important to know about the details before your doctor starts with the procedure.
Botox doesn’t eradicate all the wrinkles
You must know that it is better to have reasonable experiment from the treatment. According to Dr. Waibel, “Botox does not get rid of all wrinkles on your face—it gets rid of wrinkles made from expressions. It improves the appearance of these wrinkles by relaxing the muscles. It does not get rid of what we call static wrinkles—the ones that are seen at rest when looking in the mirror.” So, if your wrinkles and marks bother you, you can ask your dermatologist about a laser treatment for a smoother skin.
You won’t look frozen with the right technique
When you seek the procedure from the right doctor/dermatologist/plastic surgeon, chances are high you will not look frozen post treatment. Some critics claim that Botox can make you lose your original personality, making you look frozen. It is because the movement restricts and you get less range of motion to show your emotion (when you laugh, get upset or angry). Even though it is true, using an average amount of Botox for the treatment gives you the liberty to communicate and react in a much normal and lively manner.In Dr. Waibel’s words, “Botox relaxes the wrinkle-forming facial muscles at the site of injection, such as crow’s feet, glabella (the ‘furrows’ in between the brows), and frontalis (forehead lines). Botox does not affect other facial muscles that are used for overall facial expressions.”
It is both for men and women
No, It’s not just women who go for Botox. It is actually prevailing among men these days. As per the research and experience of Dr. Tutela, she claims that, “It is one of the most common procedures that men undergo. It has even spawned the term ‘Bro-Tox,’ as it has surged in popularity among men in recent years.” So, you and your husband both can go for a Botox treatment!
Uses of Botox
The basic use of Botox is to reduce facial wrinkles. As per the reports of American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Botox injection is today one of the most famous cosmetic procedure across the world. Going back to the records of 2016, more than 7 million individuals underwent Botox treatments and the number has been ever increasing. Botox injections are effective for around 3-12 months based on the chosen treatments.
The most common facial parts you can have Botox on include:
- Cobblestone skin on the chin
- Frown lines, also called ‘elevens’ or glabellar lines
- The lines on the mouth’s corners
- Crow’s feet or wrinkles around the eyes
- The horizontal creases on forehead
For removal of dark circles, you need to see a detailed research on the same. There are people who also use Botox injections to improve the quality and look of their hair. However, there is a tad evidence for the same.
Other than cosmetic purposes, doctors use Botox to cure various kinds of muscle-related medical conditions.
As per the study of AOCD, the FDA has approved Botox injections for the below-mentioned uses:
- crossed eyes or strabismus
- excessive sweating or primary focal hyperhidrosis
- eyelid spasms or blepharospasm
- Dystonia, a neurological movement disorder
Reports by Toxins show evidence that Botox injections can help in treating an overactive bladder.
People use Botox injections for not approved and off-label uses, such as:
- dishidrotic eczema
- Raynaud syndrome
- post-herpetic neuralgia
- anismus, a dysfunction of the anal muscle
- achalasia, an issue with the throat that makes swallowing difficult
- sialorrhea, a condition where the body produces too much saliva
In a nutshell
Planning to get Botox injections anytime soon? Make sure to talk to your dermatologist about the processes involved in the Botox treatment. Knowing about the facts of the treatment is significant, when you want to seek a dermatologist for Botox. We hope you can now make a wiser decision knowing about the benefits of Botox, the treatment process, its uses, risks, side-effects and other significant details.