That's A Lot of BOTOX®!
In 2019, over 7.6 million BOTOX® and other neuromodulator injections were performed in North America alone. It is the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure to date because many believe BOTOX® is the elixir of youth in a society that fears aging.
BOTOX® promises to erase wrinkles in specific areas of the face, and it has done so since first being approved in Canada for the treatment of glabellar lines back in 2001. Manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Allergan Inc., the product is a patented formulation of Clostridium botulinum, sodium chloride, and Albumin Human (a plasma protein). If you haven’t already heard, the rumours are true - BOTOX® does feature the same bacterium that causes botulism but fear not. That’s the key ingredient.
Clostridium botulinum has a paralytic effect on the muscles. It inhibits the production of acetylcholine (Ach). Ach is a chemical that plays a pivotal role in creating contractions. Large amounts of Clostridium botulinum can be fatal. However, scientists found that when the bacterium is refined to produce a highly purified botulinum toxin protein, and this is delivered directly to specific muscles in tiny and controlled amounts, the results can be therapeutic. The targeted muscles relax, allowing such disorders as spasticity, migraines and strabismus to be effectively treated.
In terms of cosmetic therapy, relax the muscle and the overlying skin will relax too, gradually smoothing out.
Repeated contractions cause the overlying skin to wrinkle, and they become more apparent with age. The perfect example is when you smile. See the creases extending from the outer corners of your eyes? Known as crow’s feet, they are a direct result of the repeated actions of the muscles underneath the skin. The medical aesthetic industry refers to such blemishes as “dynamic wrinkles”, since they are created only by the movement of the muscles. In youth, dynamic wrinkles aren’t so prominent and appear only when smiling or donning other facial expressions, but with age, they deepen and become permanent fixtures. Inject a bit of BOTOX® in specific areas, and in a few days, the muscles won’t be able to contract as much, making crow’s feet (or other wrinkles) less apparent. To date, BOTOX® has also been used to treat aesthetic imperfections such as forehead creases, glabellar lines, vertical lip lines, and neck wrinkles, not to mention many other things.
Only A Tiny Bit
The amount injected for cosmetic purposes contains such minute traces of Clostridium botulinum that it poses minimal risk of becoming a serious threat to your health. As long as treatment is performed by a trained healthcare practitioner who is using authentic BOTOX®, the only risks involved are temporary and considered rare, like droopy eyelids and weakness in untreated muscles. The most common side effects are related more to the injection process itself, such as bruising and tenderness. Again, these are temporary and tend to go away in a few days.
Treatment with BOTOX® is relatively fast. The procedure usually takes about 20 minutes, with the promise of achieving areas of the face as wrinkle-free as they were in your teens. Results aren’t permanent, generally lasting around 4 months, but it has become quite popular for 20 year olds as a preventative measure, to patients well into their 80s who want to eliminate and prevent wrinkles.
Every BOTOX® procedure should only be performed by a licensed healthcare practitioner with relevant training and experience. The product comes in a small vial that contains 100 units, and it is clearly labeled as BOTOX® Cosmetic.
Are You A Suitable or Unsuitable Candidate?
Ask an expert for the right answers.
A relatively healthy physical and mental state is the primary factor in determining suitability for the procedure. Excellent results have been achieved on men and women, so gender is certainly not an issue. However, treatment shouldn’t be performed on individuals who are pregnant, have an infection where the injection is to be made, or suffer from some neuromuscular and/or cardiovascular diseases.