Botox: What Is It, How Does It Work & When Can I Start Treatments?
While Botox is becoming a widely accepted and effective treatment for several common conditions and ailments – from headaches and migraines to overactive bladders, excessive sweating, and uncontrollable blinking – one of its most popular uses remains cosmetic.
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure in the US.
That’s because Botox also happens to be effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making it an attractive treatment option for those seeking a more vibrant, youthful appearance.
But, what exactly is Botox, how does it work, what are the long-term consequences of the procedure, and how old should you be to start treatments?
Keep reading, and we at Amani MedSpa will answer these questions (and likely others) to help you become more informed about this now-common procedure.
What is Botox, and How Does It Work?
Botox is a brand name for what’s known more generically as Botulinum toxin type A injections. It’s a neurotoxin derived from C. botulinum bacteria and spores, which exist naturally in soil, lakes, forests, and even living creatures throughout the world.
- botulinum bacteria are generally harmless, but the Botulinum toxins they produce can be hazardous. When prepared in small doses and used in a therapeutic setting, however – for instance, Botox or another similar product – it is considered both safe and useful.
So, what does Botox do when injected into the body?
As a neurotoxin, it targets the nervous system and disrupts the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction.
In other words, Botox causes temporary muscle paralysis, forcing muscles near the injection site to shorten. Botox can temporarily smooth lines and wrinkles between the eyebrows, around the eyes, in the forehead, near the chin, and around the mouth.
Such results typically last 3 months.
Are There Long-Term Side-Effects to Botox?
It may be surprising to some, but side effects are relatively uncommon when using Botox. People tend to tolerate the injections well, and side effects are not common.
Those who do develop rare minor side-effects may experience one or more of the following:
- Dry eyes or temporary eyelid drooping
- Mild pain, swelling, or bruising
- Unwanted weaknesses in nearby muscles
Other possible side-effects involve sensitivities and potential allergic reactions to the products and the potential for infection at the injection site(s).
Some people may develop antibodies to Botulinum toxin type A in rare cases, which can make future treatments ineffective. But for the most part, people are safe getting Botox treatments when needed – under the advisement and recommendations of a trained medical professional, of course.
Can Young People Get Botox?
Currently, Botox is only approved for use by adults in the U.S. who are 18 and older. However, there’s currently no law preventing adolescents from getting Botox injections for cosmetic purposes.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, this opened the door to 21,000 young people ages 13 to 19 who received Botox injections back in 2017.
Is that safe? Well, it depends on how you look at it.
At Amani MedSpa, we don’t recommend Botox for people under 18 – that is, unless it’s for the physician-directed treatment of a medical condition.
Cosmetically, most teens already boast healthy, tight, youthful-looking skin with few lines or wrinkles. The perceived “need” for a treatment like Botox at such an age, then, may speak more toward self-esteem issues than actual flaws in the skin.
So, at what age should one consider getting Botox?
The Amani MedSpa team believes this decision is personal and depends on adults’ individual needs and desires, regardless of age. Some people may not feel they need to consider such treatments until they reach their 40s, while others may find they gain confidence and results from starting Botox injections in their mid-20s. It is good to start early to prevent lines from etching into the skin.
No matter your age, it’s important you keep in mind that Botox treatments, while effective, are also temporary. To preserve the long-term effects of Botox, follow-up “maintenance” appointments are often necessary. In the long run, they help prevent deep-set lines from forming and can keep you feeling as young as you feel on the inside.
To learn more about Botox treatments and how they can effectively achieve your specific aesthetic goals, contact Amani MedSpa today, (813) 685-6111 to schedule a consultation.