Botox - The Temporary Fountain of Youth

by | August 16, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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Botox, also known as Botulinum Type A, is derived from a bacterium, Clostridium Botulinum. It is produced under very closely controlled laboratory conditions and then administered in exceedingly small therapeutic doses.

How does Botox work?

Normally, your brain sends electrical messages to your muscles instructing them to contract and produce movement. Botox works by blocking these messages from being received by the muscle that has been injected. The muscle relaxes, and the overlying wrinkle is diminished or erased. This procedure provides predictable and reliable relief of symptoms.

Where is Botox administered?

Botox administration is one of many procedures that may be performed safely in the office. A fine needle is used to inject the involved muscles. Some patients report very minor and temporary discomfort during treatment.

What areas may be treated?

Botox may be used to treat forehead lines, frown lines (between the eyebrows), crow's feet (next to the eyes), smile or laugh lines (around the mouth and eyes), and banding that sometimes occurs in the neck.

When does Botox begin to work?

Effects are usually seen within a few days and reach maximum benefit by 14 days following injection.

How long does Botox last?

It is important to remember that Botox is not a permanent solution for troubling wrinkles because the effects are not permanent. For many patients, however, the effects have been quite dramatic. Although individual results vary, the results achieved from a single treatment usually last three to six months. You will notice a gradual fading of the effects. When you begin to notice the effects subsiding, you may choose to make another appointment with your plastic surgeon for further injections.

How often may I be treated?

To maintain the effects, treatments are usually required two to three times a year. Botox treatment may be repeated indefinitely. Currently, Botox has been used safely for over 10 years worldwide. Acceptable safety in long-term treatment has been well established.

Is Botox a replacement for surgery?

Botox is not a replacement for surgery because the effects are not permanent. However, Botox may be used repeatedly, or may give you an idea of the results that may be achieved if a more permanent procedure is chosen, such as a facelift, forehead lift, eyelid surgery, chemical peel, dermabrasion, or facial laser resurfacing. Ask your plastic surgeon for more information about these procedures and others.

What precautions should I be aware of?

Botox should not be used if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking certain medications. For instance, the effects may be increased with the use of certain antibiotics. Make sure that your plastic surgeon is aware of any medications that you are currently taking.

Botox also contains certain proteins. In some circumstances your body may mount an immune response to these proteins. When this occurs, your body may no longer respond to treatment with Botox.

How much does Botox cost?

Prices vary depending on the number of areas to be treated. Prices typically start at $350.

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