Botulin toxin, or BOTOX®, is a toxin derived from Clostridium botulinum: a bacterium that naturally occurs in soil.
Much has been said about this toxin. It has supporters and those that frown upon its use (pun intended).
So let’s take a closer look!
Botulinum toxin was first discovered and used as a treatment of various muscular spasm ailments. It was soon after incorporated into what is now one of the most sought-after anti-aging treatments on the market. Primarily used to treat wrinkles as well as a variety of other conditions (e.g. migraines and excessive sweating), BOTOX® is used all over the country by dermatologists and cosmetic physicians alike. So, what is the driving force of this market?
As women age, they oftentimes feel the desire to restore what once belonged to them: their youth.
Those who object to this treatment, claim that the torturous path towards finding and maintaining the fountain of youth leads to what many perceive as an “unnatural” appearance. This is only valid when BOTOX® is overdone or patients are treated by inexperienced, improperly educated or unlicensed injectors.
Personally, I find that most of the ladies that seek BOTOX® in my clinic benefit greatly from the treatment. However, there are some that simply need alternative interventions. In those cases, it is the injector’s responsibility to discourage the client from receiving the treatment and guide them towards the right treatment for their individual needs.
As a patient or client, you should expect to receive detailed information about the possible side effects and benefits from the procedure. Make sure your provider is knowledgeable, licensed and educated in BOTOX® as well as general anatomy and physiology of the treated area as well.
I often have to push ladies to use less of this miraculous drug which can be an uphill battle at times. Most of the time however, I find that once I take the time to explain the female face anatomy, and emphasize beauty landmarks, patients will agree to what I believe is in their best interest.
The goal is not to erase every little expression line but to soften the female face in the most natural and subtle way possible while augmenting the eyebrow arches and opening the eyes.
So, how long does this last and where should you obtain this treatment?
BOTOX® generally needs to be administered every 3-4 months in most people and up to 6 months in few. Each person metabolizes the toxin in their own time.
Treatments are easy to obtain and one must search carefully to ensure the person delivering it has appropriate credentials, training and expertise.
These factors all influence the price of delivery. You get what you pay for. The cheapest treatment will likely lead to non-optimal results and dissatisfaction. Seeking a board certified physician who has earned a positive reputation in this field is your best option.
Does it hurt? What if I am scared of needles?
The delivery of BOTOX® is via a tiny needle and most ladies report very minimal discomfort. In fact, the treatment when performed by experienced hands, is quick (a couple minutes) and relatively painless.
Seek a consultation to see if this treatment is right for you.
Is it safe?
The most common side effect I see in patients is an occasional small bruise at the site of injection, especially if the patient is on aspirin or other anti-coagulants (blood thinners).
The most common side effect in the studies done by Allergan, was neck pain Usage information, contraindications and details should be discussed at your expert consultation but you can also find more information about safety and side effects at https://www.botoxcosmetic.com/.
About the Author
Dr. Vassilia D. Young received her undergraduate degree from Minot State University in North Dakota and her MD from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She currently practices as the head dermatologist at Black Hills Dermatology in Rapid City and Spearfish, SD. She specializes in Mohs surgery as well as a variety of laser and cosmetic procedures.