We’ve all heard of it.
It’s the most popular cosmetic procedure to be done in the United States of all-time.
Yes, we’re talking about Botox.
However, Botox still has some lingering questions surrounding it.
In order to give you the full breakdown, we are going to discuss:
- What Botox is
- How it works
- Botox’s history
- How long it lasts
- Difference of Botox and fillers
- If it is right for you
Botox has a fascinating history of use, and doctors have discovered dozens of medical uses for Botox, besides just reducing the signs of aging.
What is Botox?
Botox is a safe, beneficial treatment used to treat wrinkles and certain conditions.
“Botox” is the colloquial term for onabotulinumtoxinA, which is a botulinum toxin strain that is produced from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.
A Botox shot contains a very tiny amount of this highly-purified botulinum toxin refined from the bacterium to make it safe for injection and common use.
In fact, the amount of botulinum toxin in a Botox shot is so small that just one gram of this purified toxin is enough to make the world’s supply of Botox for an entire year.
The Science Behind Botox: How Does It Work?
Botox causes relaxation in the muscle by immobilizing the tissue with a botulinum toxin strain injection.
Sound scary? It’s not.
As mentioned earlier, the amount of this highly-refined strain is incredibly miniscule and provides significant benefit.
To understand why this works, we have to look at the history.
Botox for Treating Muscle Spasms
The cosmetic benefits of Botox were actually discovered as the result of a happy coincidence by researchers working closely with serious medical conditions.
In the 1960s, ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Scott did the unthinkable by injecting a form of botulinum toxin into one of his patient’s eyes, who was suffering from strabismus. Strabismus is a neuromuscular dysfunction that causes eye malalignment, resulting in double vision.
Dr. Scott’s experiment discovered that the botulinum toxin strain in Botox temporarily blocks chemical signals from nerves that tell muscles to contract, which allows the eye muscles to stop pulling in unnatural ways.
Later, Botox was then used to treat muscle spasms using the same principle, and it just so happened to reduce the look of wrinkles simultaneously.
Botox Evolves to Meet Cosmetic Market Demand
This propelled an interest in the research of Botox for beauty, and in 1992, Dr. Alastair Carruthers and his wife Dr. Jean Carruthers first published a report that Botox could be used for cosmetic purposes to smooth fine lines around the face.
You know the rest of the story.
Benefits of Botox: Cosmetic & Beyond
Botox treatments are known to be effective for:
- Removing lines and wrinkles
Additionally, today, Botox is FDA-approved to treat medical conditions, such as:
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
- Cervical dystonia
- Upper & lower limb spasticity
- Excess armpit sweating
- Eye muscle strains
- Eyelid spasms
It’s pretty surprising to know that a popular cosmetic treatment like Botox could have so many other proven benefits, and yet there is still more research that’s being done to look at its potential uses.
Fun Fact: In 2014, Dr. Rosenthal and Dr. Eric Finzi, a clinical professor of psychiatry and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, published a study that indicated Botox may also be effective in treating emotional disorders such as depression.
It is clear now that Botox has a broad spectrum of benefits, but the burning question everyone asks is, “is it safe?”
Is Botox Safe?
Good news. The small dose of highly refined botulinum toxin in Botox is considered not only effective, but also safe. In fact, only 36 adverse effects associated with cosmetic use were reported to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 1989 and 2003.
With that being said, it is important to make sure that you are receiving Botox treatments ONLY from a board certified physician or other qualified medicalprofessionals.
Doctors generally recommend against using Botox if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, those who are allergic to cow’s milk protein should do more research, as it can cause allergic reactions.
To learn more, consult with a doctor to see if Botox may be a good fit for you.
What are the Side Effects?
Side effects are possible, but usually very minimal. They most often include symptoms, such as:
- Pain at injection site
These symptoms are typically very mild and subside in a timely manner. To experience the best results, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise, alcohol intake, and exposure to extensive heat/sun for 24 hours post-injection.
So now that you know that the recovery time is almost non-existent, your next question might be how long the treatment itself may last.
How Long Does Botox Last?
In general, a Botox injection usually lasts between 3-4 months, but can last up to 6 months depending on how a patient’s body retains the injection. Sometimes, the first injection will wear off more quickly and the second treatment has a longer lasting effect.
You should see the full effects of your Botox treatment between 3-7 days.
What’s the Difference Between Botox and Fillers?
People often get confused with Botox and fillers, as they are used for the same anti-aging purposes. Both the treatments and the benefits are different, so it’s important to know which one is right for you to get the results you want:
- Botox works by temporarily relacing muscles to stop creases and wrinkles where they are common, due to facial expressions and movements.
- Fillers are gels made of hyaluronic acid that “fill in” areas in the face that have lost volume over time, due to decreased collagen production.
In other words, Botox targets wrinkles that are caused by muscle movement—known as dynamic wrinkles or “expression lines”—caused by smiling, frowning, squinting, or other facial expressions around the face.
Fillers increase volume in sagging areas around the face (e.g. thin lips, cheeks, mouth), to give your face a plump look.
Now that you have gotten the full debrief of Botox, it’s time to think about if it’s right for you!
Is Botox Right for You? Discover Botox With WholeHealth JC
Botox is a safe and efficacious treatment used by millions, and has the potential to drastically improve your quality of life.
At Whole Health JC Inc., it is our job to empower your health and elevate your well being. With 20 years of experience, Dr. Jennifer Su administers the Botox injections herself without the use of drugs, to ensure you get the natural youthful results you desire.
Let us help you get started with a free consultation, and give you personalized guidance when it comes to Botox treatments!