Wrinkles and fine lines are a common sign of aging. As we know, it is inevitable, but is it irreversible? Well, science has made enough progress to make you look 20 in your 40s. As the title suggests, HealthShots is revealing both the bright side and the dark side of botox treatment.
To understand how botox works and safety, HealthShots spoke with Dr. Parag Telang, Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, based in the UAE and India.
“Botox is a drug that weakens or relaxes a muscle. In small doses, it can reduce wrinkles and fine lines and help treat some other medical conditions. Botox is a protein made from botulinum toxin. They work by blocking the nerves that constrict the muscles, smoothing the appearance of wrinkles. It is considered a safe and effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It can also be used on the forehead and between the eyes,” says Dr. Telang.
What are the uses of a botox treatment?
- Botox is a toxin, but when used correctly and in small doses, it can have many benefits. It has cosmetic and medical uses. These injections can reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
- Botox injections are injected into the muscles, where it blocks nerve impulses to those tissues. The muscle activity that causes frown lines is reduced and makes you look younger.
- Without a twitching muscle underneath, the skin has a hard time wrinkling. Botox can also help smooth facial lines, but it doesn’t always eliminate them.
- It can temporarily relax muscles, which can benefit people with various muscle or nerve disorders. Botox is used for muscle spasm control, severe underarm sweating and cosmetic improvement as well.
How does botox work in reducing wrinkles and fine lines?
- Botox targets the nerve that supplies the muscle, disrupting the nerve signaling processes that stimulate muscle contraction and causing temporary muscle paralysis.
- In order for any muscle to contract, the nerves release a chemical messenger called acetylcholine at the junction where nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine binds to receptors on muscle cells and causes the cells to contract or shorten.
- “Botox injections prevent the release of acetylcholine, which prevents muscle cells from contracting. Botulinum toxin treatment helps the muscles to become less stiff. Botox Cosmetic works by temporarily blocking nerve signals and muscle contractions,” says Dr. Telang, who holds a DHA and HAAD license in plastic surgery.
- This improves the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and between the eyebrows. It can also slow down the formation of new fine lines by preventing facial muscles from contracting.
It is a minimally invasive procedure. It does not involve incisions or general anesthesia. To reduce pain or discomfort, a topical anesthetic or ice is used to numb the treatment area.
What are the side effects of botox?
“Botox treatment is the most effective treatment for wrinkles. But it also has some side effects.” says Dr. Telang.
Its side effects include pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding, and bruising. Some of these symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction, such as itching, wheezing, asthma, rash, red welts, dizziness, and fainting. It is possible for Botox to spread a little beyond the intended injection site and affect surrounding tissues.
“Dry mouth, fatigue, headache, neck pain, bruising, pain at the injection site and, in rare cases, drooping eyelids or eyebrows are also visible and return to their natural position within a few months. It should always be done with a certified doctor to avoid adversity.” suggests Dr. Telang, who is the Director of Designer Bodyz Centre, Mumbai.
Precautionary measures to be taken before and after a botox treatment:
- Aftercare after Botox treatment also includes some precautions. Before getting botox, avoid alcohol for 24 hours as it can increase your risk of bruising.
- To prevent the toxin from spreading, do not touch your face for at least 1-3 days. Avoid any type of professional massage on the treated areas.
- Botox needs some time to settle in the muscle. For the first 24 hours, avoid other skin treatments such as facials, massages, derma fillers, and scrubs and scrubs. How these treatments can reduce the effectiveness of botox treatment.
- Avoid sleeping on the injected areas. This will minimize physical pressure and allow the Botox to settle in your muscles. Also, avoid sleeping within 4 hours of treatment.
- Avoid sun exposure for at least 4 hours. Heat can promote flushing and raise blood pressure, which can encourage bruising.