What is Botox (Botulinum Toxin)?Botulinum toxin A is a neurotoxin produced by a specific bacteria called clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin has different types, but only types A and B are used for medical and aesthetic purposes. When injected, botulinum toxin paralyzes facial muscles to avoid the recurrence of the folds when you pose facial expressions. Botulinum toxin has a lot of therapeutic uses. However, the use and dosage should be regulated by a licensed professional because as helpful as it is, botulinum toxin is also the most poisonous substance known. Some of the known brand names that produce botulinum toxin for commercial use are Botox and Dysport.
What areas of the face can Botox be used in?Different facial muscles benefit from the use of botulinum toxin. Commonly treated areas are the ones that are in the expression lines. Some of those areas are the lines between the eyes or widely known as 11 lines, the horizontal forehead lines, bunny lines, and crow’s feet. It can also be used to treat excessive sweating of the underarms. It is injected into the muscle using a very fine needle, and an anesthetic cream is applied to the targeted area before the injection, so it is almost pain-free.
How do you prepare for the Botulinum toxin procedure?Like any other procedure, there are things that you need to do and things that you need to avoid before your botox treatment. You must keep these things in mind to ensure that everything will go smoothly, and your desired results will be achieved.
- Avoid alcohol, blood-thinning drugs, and anti-inflammatory – botulinum toxin is injected under the skin, and there is a chance that a blood vessel will get nicked in the process. If you are taking alcohol, or blood-thinning drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, it could prevent clotting and could result in bruises. It is best to stop the intake of the said medication two weeks before the procedure. You can also book a consultation two weeks before your desired schedule for further advice and assessment.
- Avoid anti-oxidant foods – avoid the intake of anti-oxidants such as fish oil, ginger, green tea, etc. a week before the procedure. Most anti-oxidants increase the breakability of blood vessels and could also prevent clotting.
- No makeup – Avoid putting on makeup a few days after the procedure to avoid infection or spreading the toxin in areas where it should not be, and this will also allow your skin to breathe. You will be able to see the results of the procedure more accurately.
- Take a breather – After the injection, you need to relax and avoid exercise. Please do not wash your hair and do not touch the injected area. Botulinum toxins need a few days to settle and mess with it after the shot might cause the toxin to spread in other areas. It can also decrease the effect which you will want to avoid.
- Avoid exposure to sunlight and frigid temperatures – sunlight is one of the top reasons for wrinkles. Let your skin heal appropriately by limiting your exposure. It is also advisable to put sunscreen on your face before going out.
- Babies first – Botulinum toxin should not be used by pregnant or lactating mothers. Due to its nature, experts still do not recommend it for pregnant and lactating moms even in a controlled environment. Botox will wait for you, momma!
What are the side effects of the Botulinum toxin?If appropriately applied, botulinum toxin has minimal to no side effects. However, it is still essential to know what are these side effects to better help in your decision;
- Headache and dizziness – If you had an injection in your 11 lines, it is possible that you will feel a bit of dizziness and headache, and this will pass after a few minutes.
- Weakness and paralysis – the surrounding muscle might feel weakened or paralyzed after the procedure. It is only temporary and will eventually subside.
- Swelling and bruising – though it does not happen commonly, does not mean it will not happen. It is possible, but like many others, it is temporary. There are chances of bruising, especially if you touched the injected area.