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How Does Botox® Work?

How Does Botox® Work?

Dubbed as the ‘wrinkle eraser’, Botox is undeniably the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. It’s a big hit among women – and even men (Brotox) – who want to enjoy a younger look without surgery. But have you ever wondered, how does Botox do this ‘magic’?

Well, it’s no magic at all. It’s just pure, amazing science. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the science of Botox, how it works, how long it lasts, and other information you need to know. If you’re planning to try Botox for the first time, keep reading!

What is Botox?

What is in Botox, you ask? Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. But wait, it’s a toxin? Is it safe?

Don’t let the word ‘toxin’ scare you from enjoying the benefits of this treatment. Botox is FDA-approved and considered safe for cosmetic purposes. Besides, you’ll only get a very small amount of this substance per session, which is far from dangerous.

One thing that makes Botox popular is its non-invasive nature. It doesn’t involve surgery or any harsh treatments that require downtime.

Aside from that, Botox is also called a ‘lunchtime treatment’ since you can get each session in less than an hour. That means you can walk into a med spa, get the treatment, and go back to work right after.

However, it’s important to remember that Botox isn’t the Holy Grail for youthfulness. Its effects are temporary and may not be a suitable solution for all individuals.

Advantages of Botox

  • Non-surgical. Botox injections are minimally invasive and it doesn’t require incisions or general anesthesia. It’s more convenient and less intimidating than other cosmetic treatments that involve surgery.
  • Quick results. You’ll start seeing results from Botox in just a few weeks after your initial treatment. This is already fast considering that it’s a non-invasive treatment.
  • Versatility. Aside from cosmetic purposes, Botox can also be used to provide temporary relief for various medical conditions like muscle spasms, excessive, sweating, and even migraines.
  • Minimal to zero downtime. Unlike surgeries, Botox treatments don’t need any serious recovery periods. You’ll just experience minor side effects that will usually resolve on their own.
  • Customizable treatments. Every Botox session is personalized based on your individual needs and goals. This ensures that you’ll have natural-looking results as if you didn’t get anything done on your face.

Disadvantages of Botox

  • Temporary effects. As with any non-invasive treatment, the effects of Botox are only temporary. You’ll usually enjoy the results for up to 6 months on average and you’ll need touch-ups thereafter. Still, this can also be a good thing if you’re not happy with the results.
  • Potential side effects. Although rare, some individuals may experience mild side effects after Botox injections. This includes bruising, swelling, or headaches. And if Botox isn’t administered properly, you may even suffer from drooping eyelids, facial asymmetry, and similar issues.

How does Botox work?

Now, let’s talk about the mechanism of Botox once it’s injected into your body. Basically, Botox is injected into specific muscles that cause fine lines or other problems that you want to treat.

So what does Botox do? Once it’s inside the muscles, it will block the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for signaling the muscles to contract whenever you make a facial expression.

Since the ‘signals’ are blocked, your treated muscles will temporarily pause their activity. On the outside, that results in smoother skin where a wrinkle used to be present.

However, you should know that the wrinkle was not really ‘erased’ per se. It’s only hidden temporarily as your muscle is still paralyzed from the effects of Botox.

This mechanism is also the reason why you should only get Botox from a licensed professional. Haphazard Botox application can cause it to spread to other areas where it shouldn’t, leading to problems like facial asymmetry.

Botox: Where to inject

For the most part, you probably know that Botox is used around the facial area. But did you know that it also has other applications? Below are some of the most common areas where Botox can be injected (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Forehead. Botox works on dynamic forehead wrinkles due to repetitive facial expressions. Forehead Botox can really smooth out deep creases with the right number of units.
  • Glabella. This is the area between your eyebrows and nose where furrows may form as you age, also called “11 lines”. You can also get a Botox brow lift to enhance your overall look.
  • Crow’s Feet. These are the lines at the outer corners of your eyes, which somehow resemble a crow’s toes. It’s often associated with aging and can be reduced with Botox for crows’ feet.
  • Bunny Lines. Bunny lines are the wrinkles that form on either side of your nose whenever you smile or make a scrunching expression. This can be relaxed with the use of Botox.
  • Jawline. Injecting jaw Botox can help relax your overactive muscles and reduce the appearance of a prominent jawline or jaw clenching. Also, it can help reduce the pain brought by temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.
  • Chin. Chin Botox can be used to treat ‘orange peel’, which occurs due to the excessive contraction of your mentalis muscles. Your chin creates a dimpled and pebbly appearance when scrunched, which is similar to the texture of orange peels.
  • Underarms. Botox can also be used to treat excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis in your armpits. Although it’s not a cure, it can help reduce the problem to make you more comfortable and confident.

How is Botox administered?

A Botox procedure is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you can expect on your appointment:

  • Consultation. Before you get any injections, your preferred licensed injector will discuss the treatment with you. This includes how Botox works, the number of sessions you need, preparation, and so on. The injector will also assess if you’re a good candidate for the treatment.  
  • Preparation. During your appointment, the injector will prepare the treatment area. It starts with cleansing followed by the application of a topical numbing cream. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable throughout the treatment.
  • Injection. How is Botox injected? It’s pretty much the same as with any other injections, except that they use a fine needle. From there, the injector will strategically squirt small amounts into the treatment area.
  • Post-treatment care. The treatment isn’t fully done after you walk out of the med spa. It’s because the effects of Botox will only show up after a few weeks. So while waiting, make sure you follow all aftercare instructions from your injector.

Overall, the entire procedure only takes around 15-30 minutes, about an hour for very large areas. You can easily squeeze in a session on your break time.

How long does Botox last?

In general, the longevity of Botox results varies from person to person. Usually, you’ll expect to enjoy the benefits for about 3 to 6 months before you start seeing a decline in the results.

After some time, the effects of Botox on your muscles will wear off and all your skin will be back on its original condition. Still, you can get regular touch-ups to maintain the results. Also, touch-ups usually need fewer Botox units than an entire session, which can help you save money.

Overall, you should know that your metabolism, lifestyle, and muscle strength will affect how long you’ll enjoy Botox results.

Potential side effects of Botox

Botox is relatively safe as long as you get it from a qualified and licensed professional. Still, it’s important that you’re aware of possible risks before you book an appointment. Here are the most common issues you may encounter:

  • Temporary bruising. Some clients experience mild bruising on their treatment site, which is usually normal and harmless. It doesn’t typically need any medical intervention since the bruising will heal in a few days.
  • Swelling. This is a temporary and completely normal side effect after getting your Botox treatment. You can expect the swelling to subside in a few hours or several days.
  • Headaches.  This is very rare, but some clients report that they also started getting mild headaches after getting jaw or forehead Botox. As long as it doesn’t get debilitating, these headaches shouldn’t be a major concern.
  • Drooping eyelids or eyebrows. This problem is often due to inexperienced injectors. What happens is that the Botox spreads beyond the treatment area and causes the muscles around the eyes to get affected. For this to resolve, you’ll have to wait for Botox to wear off.

Who is a good candidate for Botox treatments?

Almost anyone can get Botox treatments, but there are some exceptions you need to know. This is to ensure the safety and efficacy of the procedure.

You’re a good candidate for Botox treatments if…

  • You have dynamic wrinkles caused by repetitive facial movements.
  • You wish to reduce fine lines and wrinkles without undergoing surgery.
  • You’re looking for a non-invasive solution to make your face look younger.
  • You’re seeking an effective treatment for migraines or excessive sweating.
  • You want to enhance the appearance of your lips, brows, nose, or jawline.

You should AVOID Botox treatments if…

  • You’re pregnant or breastfeeding because Botox isn’t tested for safety on these conditions.
  • You have neuromuscular conditions or certain medical conditions.
  • You’re dealing with blood-clotting conditions or currently taking blood thinners.

It’s important that you disclose your health condition and medications during the consultation. This way, the injector can assess if it’s safe for you to proceed with the treatment. Remember, you should never compromise your health for the temporary effects of Botox.

How much does Botox cost?

The total cost of your Botox treatment depends on the number of units you need. Basically, each treatment area will require a specific number of units, which can also be based on your desired results.

On average, each unit of Botox costs around $10 to $20, depending on where you’re planning to get it. Here’s a quick rundown of the average price you should expect:

  • Forehead. This area usually needs around 10 to 30 units or up to $900. But with Pure Skin Laser Center, you can get this for as low as $300.
  • Glabella. Since this area is smaller, it requires only about 4 to 7 Botox units or approximately $40 to $210.
  • Crow’s Feet. Depending on the severity of your fine lines, this part may need 4 to 12 units. That’s equivalent to $40 to $360 per session based on the price range we’ve mentioned above.
  • Neck bands. The neck area is wide and will need about 25 to 50 units. This is why you should prepare at least $250 per session if you want to treat this part.
  • Brow lift. If you want to touch up your brows, you’ll need 4 to 6 units or about $40 to $180.

Botox alternatives you can explore

While Botox is a popular choice, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you’re one of those who can’t get Botox for some reason, you can consult an aesthetician if you’re a good candidate for the following:

  • Dermal fillers. Unlike Botox, dermal fillers can relax all types of wrinkles, especially static ones. These are wrinkles that show up even if your face is at rest. Because instead of paralyzing the muscles, it fills the creases to make it look smoother and tighter.
  • Chemical peels. Chemical peels can give excellent results, but it’s highly invasive and will require serious downtime. Your facial skin will become red, peel off, and become very sensitive after this treatment. Still, the final result is smooth, young-looking, and rejuvenated skin that could last for years.
  • Microdermabrasion. This is a non-invasive procedure that uses tiny crystals to exfoliate dirt and dead skin cells off your face. After that, your skin will be infused with a hydrating serum. However, this doesn’t do much for wrinkles.
  • Laser resurfacing. With this treatment, your skin will be treated using laser technology to stimulate the production of collagen. This will help reduce wrinkles and pigmentation after a few sessions. However, it can only do so much on very deep lines.

Interested to try Botox?

Botox can reduce wrinkles and help enhance your overall look. Still, it’s important that you choose a reliable provider to guarantee the best results with the least possible side effects.

If you’re looking for a Botox clinic and don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Pure Skin Laser Center. Our specialist will give you a free, no-obligation, consultation if you want to explore our Botox treatments for the first time.

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