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An Introduction to Botox

Updated on June 7, 2010

Botox is a cosmetic procedure that is becoming increasingly common. It is particularly popular as a result of its ability to keep facial lines and wrinkles at bay. As with any type of cosmetic procedure, there are downsides that you should be aware. 

Why Would I Have Botox?

Botox involves small injections in the brow area. When injected into facial muscles, Botox causes temporary paralysis of the facial nerves so that they cannot contract and cause lines or wrinkles. This is not permanent, but repeated injections can significantly weaken the facial nerves so that lines and wrinkles are avoided. You should notice a difference within a few days of receiving Botox injections, although it may take up to a week for the effects to be fully noticeable. The effects will wear off after several months, at which point your frown lines and wrinkles will start to become more evident again unless you choose to have further injections.

Although it is most commonly used to combat lines and wrinkles, Botox can have other uses. It is often injected into the armpits, hands or feet as treatment for excessive sweating, as it temporarily paralyzes the sweat glands. 

What Are The Downsides?

As Botox involves paralyzing the facial nerves and muscles, it can be very difficult to move those muscles after multiple injections. This is why people who have had repeated Botox injections cannot frown or smile easily. After repeated injections of Botox, you may find it impossible to move muscles in those areas. For one-off injections every now and again, this should not happen.

There are certain side effects that are associated with having Botox. This can include headaches, temporary drooping of the eyelids, double vision, sickness, twitching of the eyes, pain and redness in the areas that have been injected, and symptoms that are similar to influenza. Botox is not recommended for anyone who has had nerve problems. It is also inadvisable if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant in the near future. As some forms of medication can be affected by having Botox, it is advisable to discuss any current medication with the doctor before the Botox is administered.

Is It Painful?

Generally, you will not experience pain during Botox injections. However, you may feel some initial discomfort when the needle is injected into your skin. The needles used are very fine, which limits the discomfort. 

How Often Do I Need To Have Botox?

As the effects of Botox are not permanent, you need to have regular injections to discourage lines and wrinkles from appearing. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to need injections every few months, although it will vary from person to person. Repeated injections will result in the facial muscles becoming thinner, which makes the effects last for longer.

Considerations

It is important to make sure that your Botox is going to be administered by someone who is qualified to do so. Attending a registered clinic is one of the best ways to ensure this. Ideally, you should be offered a consultation to discuss your treatment beforehand. This is a good opportunity to raise any questions or concerns that you may have, and mention any medication that you are currently taking. This consultation may take place with a registered nurse, rather than a doctor. 

Comments

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    • dippykitty profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally 

      8 years ago from UK

      That's useful to know, puffyeyes! Thanks for commenting.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A great informative hub but this is one thing I don't think I'll ever be doing.

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