The confusion in the prospective patients about the benefits and risks of Botox is largely not just because media hype, but also due to the glut of misinformation that can be found on the Internet. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to provide evidence based information about Botox, and at the same time dispel a few myths surrounding the procedure.
Botox and fillers: Is there a difference?Many people just assume that all outpatient cosmetic procedures are more or less the same, when in fact they are quite different. The most common two are Botox and Dermal Fillers, and both of which are used for aesthetic purposes on an outpatient basis.
Botox is a small injection that removes wrinkles, while Dermal Fillers are a more invasive procedure that involves injecting artificial fillers under the skin. The differences, however, not end there. Botox has many uses over and above the aesthetic ones. Also, new research is being carried out with regards to using botox for headaches and migraines, asthma and even weight loss.
Botox is a trade name of a toxin (botulinum toxin A) made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Injections containing this toxin most often works by relaxing or weakening certain muscles or by obstructing activity of certain nerves. It is typically used in the beauty industry to correct cosmetic issues such as forehead wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Botox can also be used to make the jaw line appear slimmer, to combat excessive sweating in the palms, feet, and underarms, and to treat migraines and cervical dystonia.
Dermal Fillers, while also used for cosmetic procedures, are completely different. They’re a gel-like substance that is injected under the skin, either filling it in and stretching it tight, or reshaping it altogether. The most common procedure is lip injections, which women around the world use to increase the size of their lips.
Is there anything to worry about?Botox and Dermal Fillers are usually considered risk free, although there are considerations unique to each individual that should be discussed with a qualified medical professional.
For most patients, how they will look immediately after the procedure is their primary concern. In the case of Botox injections, improper treatment can cause undesirable facial expressions. In particular, the eyelids and eyebrows can droop. While this is rare, and clears up relatively quickly in most cases, no one wants to walk down the aisle looking like they’re asleep. Because of this, if you’re considering Botox for a special event such as an engagement, wedding, or business meeting, it should be done at least two weeks before the big date. In fact, the more advance time you plan, the better it will be.
As for Dermal Fillers, generally speaking, the worst that can happen is an infection. In this case, antibiotics are used. Obviously the desired change in appearance won’t likely be achieved. A more serious concern, though rare, is that the fillers may interfere with blood vessels in the skin, possibly causing scans, or scarring. These are rare occurrences, but they are considerations when looking into cosmetic procedures.
Is there an age limit for Botox?There isn't any specific age limits for those who want to take Botox injections. However, qualified professionals generally will not treat anyone under the age of 18, unless it is to treat a specific medical condition. In addition, wrinkles or other facial issues are major problems for older adults, as it starts to show up with ages. Individuals under 18 years of age are too young, so there is little or no chance for having facial issues like wrinkles.
There’s also not an upper age limit either, although your cosmetic surgeon can best advise you of any associated risks. In most cases, the only difference in age is how the treatments are applied, or the amount of Botox needed for specific treatments. Outside of that, age is rarely a consideration, and in fact tends to have more dramatic and visible effects for older people.
How long does Botox last?
Within 4 months that will drop to 20%, and by 6 months, there will be no visible changes. This is one of the reasons it is important to discuss treatment with a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Every person is different, with some requiring more or less Botox, depending on his or her individual skin characteristics. Following up as required by your doctor will allow them to assess and better measure future Botox applications to achieve your desired look.