the before and after
Before having a Botox treatment, it is important to do some research and think carefully about the procedure
By Graeme Lamb
November 24, 2021
A wide range of beauty and cosmetic treatments are available to help individuals around the world keep the appearance of youth and vigour. From creams and ointments to pills and injections, options range from the cheap and simple to the more expensive and complex.
One of the most common treatments worldwide is Botox injection, to give the appearance of youth by reducing wrinkles and sagging skin around the face and other areas. However, before having a Botox treatment, it is important to do your research and to think carefully about the before and after. What do you need to be aware of before having the treatment, and what happens after having had Botox?
What is Botox?
First of all, it is important to understand what Botox is. On first reading, it may seem that Botox can be quite dangerous, but it is also important to know that regulated Botox treatments have been recognized in the US by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) since 2002, and by other organizations worldwide, as long as the treatment is given by a licensed and authorized healthcare professional.
Botox has also been licensed since 2011 in Canada for the treatment of migraines. Considering this, you should be able to have confidence in whoever is delivering the treatment in the form of injections, as long as you inquire about their skills and experience, as they will be treating a delicate and visible area.
Regulated Botox treatments have been recognized in the US by the FDA since 2002, and by other organizations worldwide, as long as the treatment is given by a licensed and authorized healthcare professional.
Botox is normally delivered under the skin by injecting a Botulinum-based toxin under the skin and into the muscles in limited quantities into the area to be treated. The chemical involved is a relatively small dosage, and as treatments are usually only given to a particular area every few months according to official recommendations, its usage is relatively safe. A conversation should take place with the person who is injecting you with the Botox treatment, as there are various strengths of dosage available, depending on the effect that you are looking for.
The Botox toxin, and other similar drugs that have since been recommended for use, works by temporarily paralyzing muscles in the area being treated. This means that the muscles involved cannot contract and are unable to show the same tension that they would normally. Because of this, the skin will appear tighter and smoother, in a similar way as a local anesthetic, but for a longer period of time. Botox is a short-term rather than a permanent treatment.
What is Botox used for?
Botox injections are commonly given to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. These are most apparent on the forehead and around the sides of the eyes, where they are often known as crow’s feet. Sometimes injections will be given under the eyes as well, or at the top of the nose. It is also possible to give Botox injections around the jawline and neck area, as well as the chin and even near the lips, to give an appearance of tightness without wrinkles or excess flabby skin.
What you need to know before having Botox
As mentioned earlier, it is worth considering that Botox is a toxin, and therefore a poison, even if it is only injected occasionally and in small quantities. Some people can have a negative reaction to Botox injections, and it is not unusual that a Botox injection will cause some pain both during and after the procedure. This pain is often more than just the pain involved with the injection of the needle that people may be used to from other injections, and some pain and soreness in the site after the injection is to be expected as the treatment settles into the muscles being treated.
‘It is worth considering that Botox is a toxin, and therefore a poison, even if it is only injected occasionally and in small quantities.’
When receiving a Botox injection, the licensed professional who is undertaking the procedure should also inform the patient of what they can and cannot do after the procedure. For example, after a Botox injection, the patient should not take ibuprofen (or any other similar medications or medications that have a blood-thinning effect) immediately after, as this is likely to increase bruising in and around where the injection has taken place.
Any exercise undertaken should be light for the first day or so, and ideally avoided in order to allow the body to adjust to what has taken place, and to minimize the amount of movement in the area that has been treated.
What is life like after Botox?
The main thing that anyone who is considering Botox should understand is that it is a temporary fix. Botox injections are likely to have an effect on the area for only a couple of months before another treatment is required, should the patient want the same effect to be maintained.
Some research has suggested that for some patients, particularly for those with particularly expressive faces or who exercise more, the benefits of Botox may only be visible for less than a month. Although one Botox treatment is relatively safe, the more treatments that someone undergoes, the greater likelihood that there is a risk.
‘The temporary nature of Botox injections, and the fact that they cost hundreds of dollars, make them unsuitable for anything other than a short, one-off fix for a particular situation or event.’
Common risks of Botox treatments are pain and swelling, drooping or an unusual look to the area if the shape of the face has changed, including a crooked smile. Complications include problems with eyesight and difficulty in speaking or swallowing due to the muscles being too relaxed. It is also possible that the toxin can leak from the injection site into other parts of the body.
The temporary nature of Botox injections, and the fact that they cost hundreds of dollars, make them unsuitable for anything other than a short, one-off fix for a particular situation or event.
Botox can be an effective short-term solution to problem skin on and around the face and neck, but with no guarantee of long-lasting success, and at considerable cost and with the potential for risks and complications. These risks should be carefully considered before undergoing the treatment to ensure it matches the patient’s health and beauty goals.
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