Botox is a brand that has increasingly been used for treating wrinkles, facial creases, and other signs of aging. Botulinum toxin, the primary active ingredient, is generated by a bacterium called Clostridium. This is an organism that can be found naturally in soils and water. It is capable of temporarily reversing many signs of aging in the face by relaxing the muscles. When used for this purpose, it is classified as a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure.
Surgical vs Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Botulinum toxin is also an ingredient in brands including Dysport and Xeomin, which also may be used for “facial rejuvenation” efforts. Unlike the majority of surgical procedures used for cosmetic purposes, Botox is relatively less-invasive. The most common surgical procedures include breast enhancement, liposuction, and eyelid surgery.
The number of facial rejuvenation procedures that occur each year has continued to rise. In 2018, more than 7.4 million botulinum injections were administered. The chart below summarizes the five most common minimally-invasive procedures conducted in 2018.
|Botulinum toxin (A)
|Soft tissue fillings
|Hair removal (laser)
Botox injections prevent nerve impulses that cause wrinkles in the face. This treatment is effective for “crow’s feet” and “fine lines” also. Both men and women can achieve results from Botox treatment. Many patients seek to achieve a younger or more professional appearance.
Although Botox treatment prevents the muscles from moving, it will generally not interfere with the ability to make facial expressions. Common areas that show signs of aging include the area around the eyes, forehead, and upper lip. Most patients will recognize the results in as little as two days but may take up to seven days.
The improvements that result from treatment generally last for between three and six months. The procedure takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes and anesthesia is typically not needed. Wrinkles that are the result of overexposure to the sun are less likely to respond to treatment.
Other Types of Conditions
Botox treatment is a potential consideration for several different conditions including the following:
·Cervical dystonia: This is a condition where the individual experiences unintended contractions of the muscles in the neck region. This may create discomfort by causing the head to twist or turn.
·Twitching of the eyes: Muscles near the eye cause uncontrollable twitching.
·Amblyopia: This is a condition referred to as a “lazy eye” that results from problems with the muscles near the eyes. Those suffering from the condition may develop an impaired vision that is unable to be corrected using eyeglasses or contact lenses.
·Muscle contractions: Conditions such as cerebral palsy are neurological that cause the muscles to move unexpectedly.
·Hyperhidrosis: This is a condition where individuals experience excessive perspiration despite not physically exerting themselves. In severe cases, the patient overproduces sweat that can soak clothing.
·Chronic migraines: Migraine headaches occur in nearly 12% of the population. Those with the chronic form of the condition are those that experience migraines 15 or more times per month. Botox is effective in reducing this frequency in some patients.
·Bladder problems: Those with an overactive bladder may experience urinary incontinence. Botox is generally an option that is considered when medications and other treatments have proven ineffective.
Is the Botox Process Painful?
Botox injections rarely create feelings of significant pain. Some individuals report brief feelings of pain when receiving multiple injections that are close to one another. The injection itself occurs quickly and discomfort is generally mild. Some individuals experience swelling or irritation that may linger for a couple of days.
Preventing or Treating Pain Caused by a Botox Injection
Sometimes the skin will be numbed before the injection. This is most common when the hands or feet are being treated for excessive perspiration. In these cases, a topical anesthetic may be used. Other relief options include massage and ice.
Many patients find that the usage of vibratory devices is very effective in preventing injection-related pain. Many experts suggest that applying a device that produces a vibration in the area where the injection will occur resulting from a “diversionary” effect. The stimulation created by the device seems to reduce the pain sensation to the needle.
Botox and Pain Management
A recent report by the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust described using botulinum toxin for the treatment of chronic pain as “unlicensed.”
This refers to the usage of the product as an alternative to traditional treatments. It has shown to be effective in some cases. This type of treatment is not “curative” but may offer some period of relief. Thus far, Botox has a very limited history of success in treating chronic pain.
Other Possible Side Effects Following Botox Treatment
The vast majority of people who have Botox administered do not experience noticeable side effects; however, some individuals do experience some adverse effects. A small segment of patients has reported experiencing drooping of the eyelids. It has been reported to extend for several weeks in rare cases. This may be the result of rubbing the injection area within a few hours after it is administered.
In rare instances, patients have complained of bruising or experienced headaches. Vision problems may occur such as dryness or tearing. There are a few reported cases where patients have also had difficulty with speech, swallowing and mild breathing problems.
Those Who Should Avoid Botox Treatment
It is always important to inform your practitioner of any existing medical conditions that you have or medications. This is most important for those who take blood thinners, are prescribed certain muscle relaxants or have allergies. People that suffer from neurological conditions may not be suitable for Botox treatment.
Women who are pregnant or those that are breastfeeding should not undergo Botox treatments. There is also a small group of the population that is allergic to the proteins in cow’s milk that must avoid Botox.
A report from the Food and Drug Administration was generated using data from those who had treatment with Botox over 14 years. There were millions of these injections administered during that time and adverse reactions occurred in only 36 cases. This is considered to be an excellent safety record.
These injections should be performed only by experienced professionals. The injection must occur at certain points of the body to avoid potential harm. Professionals from various specialties may offer Botox treatment.
What Types of Practitioners Administer Botox?
Treatment using Botox for those experiencing chronic migraines or cervical dystonia is often considered by physicians that specialize in neurology or otolaryngology (ENTs). Some patients who are experiencing conditions involved with excessive perspiration often will have Botox treatment provided by a dermatologist.
An ophthalmologist may recommend Botox treatment for those who have conditions related to the eyes. Urologists or gynecologists may be treating a patient with urinary incontinence and use Botox as a potential solution. Dentists have extensive training and experience working with the head and neck regions of the body. A dentist will generally complete some specific training to obtain certification to treat patients using these and other types of injections.
A study published in American Family Physician explained that botulinum toxin injections have an excellent history of results. Their findings showed that the results are overwhelmingly “predictable” when administered to the upper part of the face. Satisfaction among patients is very high and adverse effects are very unlikely.
Family Dental Practice in Mesa Provides Various Cosmetic Solutions
The team at East Valley Dental Professionals offers a wide variety of treatment options for patients. We now offer treatments including Botox and dermal fillers that will improve your appearance and your confidence. Contact our office today at (480) 838-3033 for an appointment.