Botox is the most common non-invasive cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. Each year, well over 2 million Botox treatments are given and non-surgical cosmetic treatments continue to rise by around 20 percent each year.
Botox is a chemical that is derived from botulinum toxin produced by a microorganism known as Clostridium botulinum. It is chemically purified into an injectable medication that can be used for cosmetic purposes to temporarily reduce lines and wrinkles on the face. It can also be used around the sweat glands to reduce excessive sweating in the underarm area and the palms of the hands for a condition known as hyperhydrosis.
It works in wrinkle reduction by paralyzing the muscles of the face preventing the patient from making facial expressions such as frowning and grimacing that contribute to wrinkle development. Botox injections work to reduce sweating by paralyzing the sweat glands and reducing perspiration. It is also being used by some physicians to manage pain including nerve pain, migraine headaches and neck spasms.
Who Benefits from Botox?
Women who have mild to moderate frown lines on the forehead, between the eyes and around the mouth may benefit from cosmetic Botox treatments. It may temporarily reduce the ability to wrinkle the skin and may eliminate the appearance of lines on the face.
Some women also report that their personal relationships improve after Botox treatment because they can no longer make automatic frowning movements with their face and appear to be happier and more well rested which puts others at ease.
People who are bothered by excessive hydrosis or sweating may also benefit greatly from Botox injections. Excessive sweating in the underarm area and on the palms of the hands can be a tremendously embarrassing problem and Botox treatment can remedy this situation and greatly improve self esteem.
Botox Side Effects
Though Botox injections are generally considered to be safe, it does have a number of side effects that should be understood. Botox does not typically require a recovery period but some patients will experience localized pain and irritation at the injection site.
In addition a few patients report a flu-like condition with body aches and headache that may last for several days. Botox treatments will usually be effective immediately and will likely last for several months but the patient may have to return for additional cosmetic Botox injections after a few months to maintain the effects.
Botox is only one of a number of injectable cosmetic wrinkle treatment procedures. Botox alternatives such as collagen injections are also quite popular but have different results. Collagen injections are derived from natural bovine collagen and a number of other sources such as from tissue banks using human tissue from diseased persons.
Collagen treatments are useful to fill in lines and plump tissue that may have collapsed. Effects are also temporary as collagen will be absorbed by the body over a period of several months. Synthetic tissue filler injections may also perform the same function as collagen injection but are made from non natural substances. Though they are more permanent, synthetic cosmetic fillers are more likely to cause irritation and be rejected by the body requiring removal.