Beauty Has a Price: Pros and Cons of Botox Cosmetic Treatments
We often want to stay young for the rest of our lives - mostly to maintain our youthful beauty - but time has other plans, and that includes laugh lines and wrinkles. Our increasing age counts are inevitable but it doesn’t mean your wrinkles have to be.
The most less-invasive cosmetic procedure done in 2018 was Botox, read more here. Women tend to go into this procedure around their late 30s and early 40s and beyond because biologically this is where those lines begin to form more prominently around the eyes. With this, you can achieve that early adulthood look and maybe even feel the hopeful naivety you once had about the world.
That doesn’t mean Botox doesn’t have its own hidden secrets. As much as it is viewed as a “vain” attempt to go back to bygone years, it’s also shrouded by rumors such as sagging skin, harmful health effects, and even botched Botox horror stories. Most of these are exaggerated, to say the least, but by no means untrue. In this article, we’re here to give you facts about Botox before you position yourself underneath the needle.
What Is Botox?
Botox is a colloquialism of Botulinum Toxin, which is derived from the bacteria C. botulinum. This bacterium is present in most natural settings, like outside of your home. It can be in the forests, lakes, and even the soil itself. It was even found in large and small intestines of fish and other mammals.
According to many studies by cosmetic doctors, Botulinum Toxin is the most poisonous substance known to man, but in small doses, it is very much safe. With that said, it is strongly advised never to go to an uncertified cosmetic doctor, despite it being cost-effective.
If you ever do decide to do this procedure, do so under the care and guidance of professional botox treatment clinics that are knowledgeable, competent, and informative. It takes a very skilled professional cosmetic doctor who has undergone rigorous and intense training to ensure little to no side-effects happen to you post-procedure.
As a non-cosmetic substance, 1 crystalline gram of this toxin can end 1 million lives. 8 grams can kill off the whole human population and all animals, originating in water or land. It is a neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system before ending your life by paralyzing your diaphragm and ceasing your breathing. This is exactly why taking part in a sleazy, shady cosmetic procedure is a no-no. Other than potentially poisoning yourself, it can end in your fillers causing irredeemable damage to your face.
How Does It Work?
Still fearless and adamant in taking this endeavor? Then you should probably know what you’re signing up for in signing those waivers and other legal papers.
Wrinkles form because of the movement (contraction) of muscles. We can’t stop ourselves from laughing, frowning, and other facial expressions. We can't command our muscles to cease taking action after each movement, so it’s safe to say we can’t really prevent these from forming.
Enter Botox. This drug is administered in little amounts, just enough to avoid any untoward symptoms from happening, and for needed effects to take place. What it mainly does is freezing the muscles, or disallowing them from constricting. Remember when we mentioned muscle movement is the main culprit of wrinkle formation? Well, now that we’ve controlled the muscle via a drug, wrinkles will start to disappear and smooth, supple skin can take its place.
Not only that, but this procedure is one of the fastest procedures done, and it is almost non-invasive. Afterward, you’ll be given instructions throughout the time you have these products inside of your face, of what is allowed and not allowed in the duration of it.
Advantages of Botulinum Toxin
Quick and Efficient
As stated above, Botox can be done quickly. In under 10 minutes, you’ll be done, with little to no discomfort during or after. Other cosmetic procedures require several sessions to complete, and many, many retries that are both painful and tedious.
Botox, on the other hand, uses a very fine needle to incorporate the products inside your muscles. Depending on how long your body will make use of this product, the session where you get injected with a Botox product will be the only one until you decide to do it again
Take note that it will take a while for this procedure to take effect on some people, however. Some experience instant results within a day, others observe it after a week. Doctors might explain the timeframe in which the product will take full effect on the nerves (4 full days) and some more time for it to have its peak effect (more than a week).
While other procedures require you to rest in the hospital or at home for weeks before taking off the gauzes and layers of bandages, Botox doesn’t have such drawbacks. Although, it has side-effects which will last you 2-3 days. These include pain around the face, dizziness, vomiting, and fatigue. They are very mild, but anything persisting a week should be addressed to your physician immediately.
Other symptoms it may cause are URI (upper respiratory infection) or ptosis (drooping of an eyelid), but these are extremely rare cases. There are also instances of allergic reactions, but professional clinics conduct an interview beforehand that asks about prior and current allergies, thus effectively preventing this 99.9% of the time. It is, again, very important to partner up with certified professionals for this venture.
Almost non-invasive and Less Risky
As mentioned above, botox requires only a very thin injection and syringe, which will cause tolerable discomfort. This might still be considered invasive, but it’s the most almost-non-invasive procedure with the most effective results.
The fact that it also does not spread to other parts of the body is a great thing to consider in regards to safety. Its effect is local, does not stay nor travel in the bloodstream, and does not require anesthesia. Thus, it poses fewer health risks compared to most procedures done under the knife.
Other Benefits Come With Aesthetics
If you think this procedure is purely vain, you’ve been misinformed. According to this study by German neurologists (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5367647/) botulinum toxin has potential and strong evidence as to its effectiveness against Chronic Migraine. It shows great promise in lessening monthly headaches with little to no side-effects. The only recorded ones are site pain, neck pain, and muscle weakness in very mild intensities.
Other medical advantages to this are its help in urinary incontinence. Botulinum Toxin is injected into the bladder, which leads to its increase in size and freezes its muscles, preventing accidents. Patients with TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorder are also injected with this to lessen their pain whilst chewing. For two years, even those with excessive sweating can control their condition following a single Botox session.
Disadvantages of Botulinum Toxin
The muscle-relaxing benefits can stay as long as 8 months and as short as two. It almost gives you the same experience as being high, by giving you this amazing result only to rip if from you months later, leaving you wanting more. Then this question starts to beg for an answer: when does it all stop?
Though inexpensive, this procedure can demand more than one session a year. In the long-run, if you ever get hooked or plan to maintain, it will cost you just as much as any invasive cosmetic procedure.
A Building Immunity
Maybe this is where the earlier question will pull its answer from. Over time, as you use botulinum toxin, the body’s natural response would be to produce antibodies to fight it off. Remember, it still is a foreign body introduced to the body even if it doesn’t harm it. This will give you tolerance to this toxin, which will lessen the effects every time you have a session until your body will ultimately stop responding to it.
Especially for those with soft, sensitive skin, any type of invasive regardless of its size will leave a mark that is both prominent and not visually pleasing. Also, note that just as the 24-48 hour duration of a side-effect is an advantage, it could also pose as a great disadvantage. Nobody wants to walk around with an injection site bruise on their face visible for all to see—for two days.
Muscles Becoming Too Stiff or Frozen
Also known as the “frozen face”, this is an expression commonly shared by those who had botulinum toxin injected into their facial muscles. Because said muscles are frozen and should remain so for a while, it is advised you don’t make elaborate smiles, frowns, or other expressions that demand usage.
This might lead you to appear dissatisfied, surprised, or even angry, and it should be made clear to the family and friends that this is simply the effect of the procedure.
Things To Consider Before And After The Procedure:
- Avoid rubbing or massaging the face or injection sites. This will cause movement in the muscles and defeat the purpose of the injected toxin. It will also promote inflammation, which will cause more pain to the sites.
- You should avoid taking aspirin after a week of the procedure. Doing so will promote or exacerbate bruising. It is also recommended to stop multivitamins, avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages, and stop any prior drinking or eating of herbs such as St. John’s Wort.
- Note that this procedure isn’t recommended for people aged 65 and beyond, as well as pregnant women.
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