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Treatment with Botox cosmetics is widely used to flatten wrinkles around the eyes, forehead and neck.

Botox Cosmetics Introduction

Botox, or botulinum toxin A, is a purified product obtained from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is used to delay the aging process by eliminating wrinkles, forehead furrows, scowl lines and crow’s feet. These changes on the skin of the face appear due to constant activity of the muscles of the face. Deep lines on the forehead and eye area develop because of continual contractions of these muscles thus giving a person tired and angry look.

The FDA officially approved the use of Botox for cosmetic purposes in 2002 and it has been increasingly popular in treatment of wrinkles since then. However, Botox was first introduced in the late 1980s when it was used for treatment of optic muscle disorders such as ocular muscle spasms and eye coordination problems. Botox treatment is also used in treatment of extreme armpit perspiration and migraine headaches. Its use in treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is still being studied.

Botox Procedure

Treatment with Botox injections is done on an outpatient basis, in a doctor’s office. Before injecting the Botox, the doctor may mark targeted points on the face. Local anesthetic or numbing cream can be used to numb the area that will be treated. Then, the doctor uses sterile instruments and carefully injects small doses of Botox to the targeted muscles underneath the skin. The procedure may last from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes. The patient may resume normal activities immediately after the treatment.

Botox provides muscle paralysis by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles which signal the muscles to contract. This results in relaxed muscles and smoother overlying skin, free from wrinkles. However, the effect of Botox cosmetic is not permanent and wears off after three to four months. After that period, the treatment has to be repeated.

Side Effects of Botox Cosmetic

Botox is generally safe and does not cause long-term side effects. However, some side effects are possible and usually include headaches, nausea, pain and bruising at the site of injection and flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, Botox may cause temporary muscle weakness and upper eyelid droop.

Side effects of Botox treatment usually resolve within days but sometimes drooping eyelids may resume their normal position within a few months. Swallowing or inhaling Botox can cause life-threatening complications but this has never occurred in people undergoing Botox cosmetic treatment.

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