Although the use of Botox is not new having been used for medical treatment for at least 3 decades, the cosmetic use came to the fore in 2002 when clinical trials were completed for the use of the material in the treatment of frown lines and approved by the FDA. Since then the use of botulinum toxin A (Botox is only one form of this) has become the most common medical procedure in the world. More than 6,000,000 people were injected in just the US last year.
Getting a Botox Injection
There are many forms of botulinum toxin in use around the world, but only 3 are approved by FDA for use here—Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. There are nuances in calculating the dose and some differences with extra protein (Xeomin has no extra protein and is pure botulinum toxin), the results and side effects are the same regardless of the material used.
It must be understood that when you are treated, there is no immediate effect like there is with filling materials, because the lines are not being treated, but the muscles are injected that cause the lines. There is a 3 day delay in the beginning of effectiveness and the results reach a peak in 7-10 days. The results will last a number of months, the true length dependent on the skill of the physician and the location of the treatment area.
What about the Application and Side Effects?
Side-effects are not very common and there has never been reported a serious permanent side-effect to the material. It is not painful to have the injections and although infection is possible I have never seen one. Bruising can occur but not very common. The use is not just for cosmesis, it is used and very effective for migraine headaches, excessive sweating under the arms, palms or soles.
Since the technique is generally easy to learn, there are many who are injecting the material who do not have any training and therefore getting poor results. Ask whether or not the injections are being done by a doctor (believe it or not many times they are not) and ask the doctor what training he has, what results he can usually obtain and what if any side-effects he has had.
Cost will vary from doctor to doctor but sometimes the less expensive treatments are because the doctor is using a more diluted form or a type imported into the US (against the law) or using less of a dose than the recommended dose.
So, as in most things—caveat emptor!
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