How Does Botox Work?

Botox, a purified form of botulinum toxin, is a medicine that has been safely used for over 10 years. When used by specialized medical professionals, it can be injected to relax certain facial muscles that cause wrinkles and treats severe forehead lines, crow’s feet on the outside corners of the eyes, and frown lines located between the eyebrows. It is injected directly into the muscles and it temporarily relaxes the muscles, which in turn decreases the wrinkling that is caused by that muscle.

Facts about Botox:

  • Botox is the leading non-surgical cosmetic treatment and according to Medical News Today, more than 6 million treatments are administered every year.
  • Botox comes from Clostridium botulinum, an organism that is naturally-occurring in the western regions and in aquatic sediments in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia. It can also be in the intestinal tracts of fish and mammals, as well as the organs of some shellfish.
  • In addition to its cosmetic uses, there are a number of beneficial effects of botulinum toxin. Purified botulinum toxin is may be used to treat frequent blinking, esophageal stricture, crossed eyes, sweating, migraines, muscle disorders, and bladder and bowel disorders.

We know Botox is injected into the muscles, causing gradual elimination of wrinkles, but how does this process actually work? Botox is injected in very small concentrations that interfere with the nerve cells’ signals from reaching the muscles and in effect, the muscles relax.

Botox is primarily used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the forehead, along the outside of the eyes (crow’s feet) and in between the eyebrows. But like we mentioned above, Botox goes beyond aesthetic applications. It’s also used to treat a number of medical conditions like leaky bladder, excess sweating, and migraines.

What It’s Like to Get Botox

Don’t let the needles scare you. The process of getting Botox is a piece of cake and it doesn’t take long at all. Often, patients will say, “All I felt was a tiny prick.” Usually, the side effects are minimal and only involve mild redness, swelling or bruising and they subside quickly. The results can be seen in about three or four days but they continue improving for about two weeks, when the results are maximized.

“How long do results last?” Botox can last 3-4 months in most patients and are often done in conjunction with dermal fillers like Juvederm, which can complement Botox.

Related: How Can I Look Younger?

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