Botox and How It Works
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- What is Botox?
- How Does Botox Work?
- How`s the Injection Delivered?
- Risks and Side Effects of Botox
The bacterium from which Botox is derived, Clostridium botulinum, is found in nature within settings including forests, lakes, and soil.
Mammals, shellfish, and fish also offer access to this substance, and when in its natural occurrence, the spores and bacterium are harmless. Trouble arises when these same spores transform into vegetative cells with their population growing. At this point, the bacteria have the potential to begin producing botulinum toxin, a deadly neurotoxin which is responsible for botulism.
When these neurotoxins target the nervous system, it disrupts the body’s neurons communication system and signaling processes.
It may come as a surprise, but this bacterium in high concentration is extremely poisonous. Botulinum toxin is so poisonous Scientists estimate it could kill one million humans with as little as one gram and every human on earth with two.
Although its active ingredient is extremely toxic, Botox is in high demand. The reason, because it is a valuable and successful therapeutic protein. When injected in small concentrations, it can prevent muscles from receiving signals from nerve endings and effectively paralyzing them.
For muscles to contract, nerves release the chemical messenger, acetylcholine at the junction where the muscle cells meet the nerve endings. Acetylcholine attaches to muscle cell receptors which cause the muscle cells to shorten or contract.
Injecting small concentrations of botulinum toxin (Botox) prevents the release of acetylcholine, halting contraction of the muscle cells. Therefore, Botox injections will force the muscles to become stiff.
Medical and Cosmetic Benefits of Botox Injections
Botox is a common treatment for anti-aging regimens. It is extremely successful at softening wrinkles, folds and fine lines that are a consequence of aging skin. The wrinkles targeted are known as Dynamic wrinkles, and are the result of facial expressions causing a lasting imprint on certain areas of the face.
But Botox has applications beyond aesthetic and anti-aging medicine. Botox is currently active in treating over 20 different medical conditions. These include leaky bladders, excessive sweating, migraines, and eye squints.
The process starts with the botulinum toxin diluted in a saline solution to reduce the concentration levels to a safe ratio. Then, a qualified applicator injects this solution directly into the muscle of the target area. Within 72 hours, Botox should have an impact.
Botox is well tolerated by most patients, and there are few side effects associated with the procedure. Some may have a genetic disposition which results in an unusual response to the drug. Also, around one percent of patients receiving Botox injections realize no positive results.
Possible side-effects include:
- General malaise
- Double vision
Botox popularity increases continually, with the minimally-invasive aesthetic procedure up 700 percent, from the year 2000 to 6.3 million in 2013.
What to Expect During Your First Botox Injection
If you have never had a Botox injection, here is what you can expect during your first treatment experience.
Just remember, when Botox is delivered properly, it can offer a youthful, refreshed and more relaxed appearance. It helps improve your facial features while preventing pesky wrinkles and lines from emerging for three to four months.
Having reservations about the treatment is understandable – because it does involve injections! To put you at ease, we’ve summarized what to expect before, during, and after your Botox injections.
At the consultation
During your consultation, we will discuss your concerns and manage your expectations for the results you want to achieve. Then we will discuss our recommendations and work within your budget. We will answer any question you might have and address any concerns to make sure you have a full understanding of the procedure.
At Your Botox Appointment
Before your Botox injection procedure, you will complete a medical consent form, and we will take photos of the treatment area to track your results. These initial injections will take approximately thirty minutes. We will talk you through the treatment before starting.
Being nervous is normal, so eat and hydrate well before the procedure to beat the butterflies you are sure to have. We will inject Botox directly into the muscle using a fine needle. Most of our patients describe the injections as “slightly uncomfortable,” but they are over with quickly.
Immediately After the Botox Injection
Right after the injections, you may have some swelling and redness which should subside within fifteen minutes. Most of our patients experience no pain or side effects; few get a mild headache after the treatment which you can treat with mild pain medication. We will give you information about your recovery which outlines all the details of post-treatment care.
One Day After Your Botox Injections
You may experience minor bruising which can be resolved using arnica cream and covered with a little concealer. Some of our patients experience mild headaches the day after, again, treated with a mild pain blocker. Your results take a bit of time to take effect fully, so you might not see any noticeable improvement after one day.
Seven Days After Your Botox Injections
After a week, you should enjoy the results of your procedure. Your treatment area will appear refreshed and look smoother. After the first injection, there might be a little tight sensation, and you might feel a bit of heaviness. This sensation should subside after a week or two.
One Month After Your Botox Injection
A month down the road your Botox is still working wonders for your facial appearance. You may experience some movement, but this differs from patient to patient.
Three Months After Botox Injections
After three months, a gradual return of movement will return to the treated areas. You should schedule an assessment and possible follow up injection before the treatment fully abates. Stubborn static lines on your forehead may need a touch-up or retreatment if the muscle experiences full movement.
You should avoid full movement in the treated area to permit deep set lines to soften and to obtain optimal results.