Botulinum toxin, more commonly known as Botox, has had medical applications for decades, including cosmetic use in reducing wrinkles. Today, Botox is considered the most common treatment among cosmetic procedures. Botox treatments offer a months-long reduction of wrinkles, making them convenient as a periodical anti-aging solution. Plastic surgeons may recommend Botox as a low-impact treatment that offers noticeable changes. If you’re considering receiving Botox treatment from our medical professionals at Somerset Plastic Surgery, more information about the procedure and its history may help increase your confidence. Here are some valuable details to know about Botox and how it works:
Our History With Botox
First isolated in the 1940s, Botox has been under the medical microscope for a long time to develop medical uses. The first of these uses emerged in the 1970s as a treatment for conditions causing crossed eyes. It was during the testing for this treatment that scientists first noted the protein’s effect on wrinkles. Since then, Botox has received FDA approval for treating various medical and cosmetic conditions. This lengthy medical history may be a source of comfort to those wondering about the reliability of how this treatment works. Millions of Botox treatments are now administered every year.
The Botox Treatment Process
Botox works by blocking the specific nerve signals that cause the release of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter and is responsible for muscle contractions. Without it, muscle activity remains inactive. As we age, some muscles tighten more profoundly and frequently than in youth, and this tightness can produce wrinkles. The mouth, forehead, and edges of the eyes are common areas to see this effect. When introduced, Botox interrupts the signals that tighten these muscles, relaxing them and smoothing that area.
Getting a cosmetic Botox treatment is comparatively quick, though making an appointment is generally advisable. Your plastic surgeon may apply an anesthetic to the site of the wrinkles first before initiating the treatment. The surgeon will then administer the Botox via injection. The size and pattern of the injection site may be based on the severity of the facial wrinkles. After the injection, first-time Botox users may be asked to wait a few minutes for observation. If there are no unexpected reactions, the process is complete. Your surgeon may have special instructions about appropriate activities immediately following treatment.
The primary desired effect of Botox is the relaxation of specific facial muscles, which makes existing wrinkles less visible and helps prevent new wrinkles from forming. Accompanying this effect will likely be some limitations in the range of your facial expressions, depending on which muscles were targeted. Botox may also be used to help treat eye and neck muscle spasms.
Besides reducing wrinkles, Botox can also be used to treat migraines. Botox reduces the release of certain pain and inflammatory mediators, which generally build up to contribute to migraines. The reduction of these mediators may shorten migraines and make them less painful.
Botox can also block certain neurotransmitters that activate sweat glands, making it a treatment option for excessive sweating. Similar to cosmetic Botox treatments, it is administered via injection near the affected area. This particular treatment can be applied almost anywhere on the body experiencing excessive sweating.
Cosmetic Botox treatment will take a few days to take full effect. Once it does, the muscle-relaxing effect generally lasts between three and six months. Botox treatments for other conditions may have different durations, depending on the condition and the affected part of the body. Repeat treatments can be done as quickly as the first, maintaining wrinkle reduction or other relief for extended periods.
What Your Plastic Surgeon Wants You To Know
While Botox is effective for many people, there are some things to consider when deciding whether to receive Botox. Botox is intended only for patients 18 years or older. Some conditions may preclude a person from receiving Botox. This includes:
- Skin problems near injection sites.
- Persistent weakness in facial muscles.
- Deep or significant facial scarring.
- Drooping eyelids.
- Any neuromuscular disease.
- Pregnancy or nursing.
Before receiving Botox, reviewing your medical history with your plastic surgeon is a good policy. Include relevant medical conditions and any medications being taken to treat them. This will help our team at Somerset Plastic Surgery verify that you are a good candidate for Botox treatment.
Botox Combines Convenience & Affordability
Botox is popular among the many cosmetic procedures available today due to its accessibility. It is not a prohibitively expensive procedure and does not have to be renewed if costs become a concern. The treatment is done quickly and has a minimal recovery period, making it easy to fit into a busy schedule. Our team of doctors at Somerset Plastic Surgery is experienced in administering Botox, among other cosmetic treatments. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation or treatment appointment.