On Dec 20, 2014
A trending topic and procedure over the past decade or so is Botox. The media has played a huge role in its popularity and it seems to be a lasting trend, as its success rate is typically high. Generally, Botox is used to reduce wrinkles on your face such as crows feet and forehead lines. This article will go over the basics of Botox, the possible side effects and help you decide if Botox is right for you.
What is Botox
Botox injections use various forms of botulinum toxin, muscle paralyzing agents, to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles. Although your muscles can experience some paralyzation with extreme amounts of Botox, physicians aim to inject the right amount that allows limited activity but not some much that there is overactivity over these areas. The toxin is actually produced by the microbe that causes botulism; which is a type of food poisoning. Botox injections are also used to treat problems cush as hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, overactive bladder and could help prevent chronic migraines.
Some Things To Know Before You Go
As with any medical procedure, it is crucial to research your doctor. Keep in mind that Botox can be unsafe if it’s administered incorrectly and it would be in your best interest to look for a doctor who specializes or has experience in administering these treatments. You may want to ask for a referral from your primary care doctor as they can point you in the right direction.
When making your appointment, there are a few things that you should do to prepare. It’s important to let your doctor know if you’ve received any injections within the past four months and if you take any blood thinners. Informing your doctor of these things may reduce the risk of bleeding or bruising during your appointment. Basically, let your doctor know if you take medications such as muscle relaxers or allergy medications as these could affect the procedure as well.
During Your Session
Once you are taken back to the exam room, you’ll be positioned on exam table and the areas to be injected are cleaned with a non-alcoholic cleaner. Some physicians may apply a topical anesthetic, such as EMLA cream. Once this is complete, the Botox is injected into the areas of your choosing. Normally, the injection patterns include roughly four or five areas on each side of your forehead and two or three areas on either side of the eyes. If your injection areas are outside of this region, a more skilled physician would be needed for your procedure. Please note that pressure may be applied to areas that seem to be bleeding after the injection.
Some Possible Side Effects
Most side effects of Botox are minor; you may experience a headache, flu-like symptoms or swelling or bruising at the injection sites. Although it's rare, it is worth mentioning that complications can occur if the Botox spreads from where it was injected. If it spreads, it can cause symptoms of botulism such as muscle weakness, swallowing and breathing problems, among others. Please keep in mind that these health concerns can happen hours or even weeks after the injection and if you notice any, you should call your doctor right away.
After all is said and done, your physician will make sure that you are satisfied with the outcome of the procedure and will instruct you to avoid lying down for two to four hours. The reason for this is to avoid moving the toxins to another part of your body; touching or massaging the injection areas should be avoided as well. If you bruise easily, taking any over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, should be avoided.
Katherine Giesen is a freelance multimedia writer and editor and currently is one of the assistant editor interns at Central Skin. She was born and raised in South Jersey and studied broadcast journalism in Florida. In addition to her interests in skin health, Katherine has a background in the culinary arts. Through her passions and interest, she wants to enrich the lives of others