The Quick Fix: Botox
The scope of cosmetic plastic surgery continues to evolve. The active person demands the maximum benefit with the least amount of down time. Today there are a host of procedures, which can be performed efficiently and safely and still allow a person a quick return to work. Many of these procedures can be performed in the amount of time it takes to eat lunch. Botox, one of the most popular of the "lunch time procedures," has created much public interest. If you are considering this treatment, you should know the following facts about Botox.
BOTOX: What is it?
Botulinum exotoxin is a potent inhibitor of neuromuscular activity. It blocks the communication between the nerve fiber and the muscle preventing contraction of the muscle and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles. Before becoming one of the most popular cosmetic treatments available, it was widely used for 18 years as a therapeutic agent. During this time period, Botox's safety record has been well established.
Is Botox for me?
Like all cosmetic procedures, it is not a necessary treatment, but if you desire a slight improvement in your look or a "cleaning up," Botox may be for you. It has become a superb option for the patient hesitant to undergo surgery but wanting to erase the deep creases and furrows of the face. By relaxing the muscles causing these wrinkles you can rid yourself of the heavy tension look or remove a misrepresented tired and angry scowl. Patients appreciate its subtle improvement and are pleased when their acquaintances are not quite sure why they look better. Following treatment with Botox, you can expect to appear more relaxed and rested. Botox is commonly used to reduce the heavy vertical creases between the eyebrows, flatten deep forehead wrinkles, and smooth out the crows feet area of the eyes. Newer areas that are being treated include the age defining wrinkles around the mouth, nose, and the thick muscle bands of the neck. Additionally, early use of Botox may prevent future wrinkles from occurring.
What are the risks?
Fortunately, the risks are extremely low. Systemic toxicity and paralysis are unheard of and are not a consideration. The amount of toxin used is in such small quantities and acts only locally, that you would have to consume over 280 times the treating dose to start to see toxic side effects. One caution is to patients with muscular or nerve disorders. An underlying neurological disease may have an affect on your treatment. Perhaps the most attractive feature of Botox is that potential side effects from are very rare and all are completely reversible.
Originally published in the April 2000 Today's Chicago Woman.