Aging is inevitable. No one is exempted from the natural process of aging and the visible signs associated with it. However, the age at which the signs appear vary with each individual  depending on certain factors. Genetics, gravity, and lifestyle habits such as sleep, diet, smoking, alcohol and caffeine intake, environmental pollutants, sun exposure, and stress are some of the factors that greatly contribute to the appearance of the signs of aging. As we enter our 30’s, a decrease in collagen production produces visible wrinkles and sagging skin that make us look older. Those who have premature signs of aging due to genetics, smoking, and sun damage experience it earlier than expected. Thus, the quest for looking younger has become an obsession for many and the search for the fountain of youth is eternal. History dates us back to the time of Herodotus, thousands of years ago about the tale of a magical spring or river that brings back the youthfulness of a group of people called Macrobians. Other names of navigators such as Alexander the Great, King Prester John, and Juan Ponce de Leon are associated with the fountain of youth during the olden times. Modern science, however, has dedicated time and
money to this quest to allow people to look younger and to make the tale of the fountain of youth a reality. With the evolution of the breakthrough Botox, it has become the most popular non-invasive cosmetic treatment for men and women around the world and the best solution to reverse and prevent the signs of inevitable aging and achieve the youthful glow people have always wanted at an instant, with no downtime.

What is Botox and how does it work?

Botox is the popular brand name of an injectable drug Botulinum toxin Type A which is derived from a certain bacteria called Clostridium Botulinum which causes paralysis of the muscles of the face, mouth, eyes, throat, neck, torso, arms, legs, and muscles of breathing. In large amounts, it is poisonous. However, doctors use this drug in small doses for cosmetic purposes to reduce or erase fine lines and wrinkles and to treat some medical conditions. Botox was accidentally discovered by ophthalmologist Alan Scott while treating a patient with double vision using a
tamed amount of the toxin. Botox works by inhibiting the release of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine responsible for binding with the receptors of the muscle membrane causing it to contract. Such inhibition causes temporary paralysis or inability of the muscles to contract thus, preventing or reducing the formation of wrinkles.

Uses of Botox

For cosmetic treatment, it is primarily used to reduce or eliminate the appearance of the following:

  • Forehead lines – horizontal lines on the forehead or “worry lines”
    • Crow’s feet – fine lines around the eyes or “smile lines”
    • Frown lines -lines referred to as “eleven” between the eyebrows
  • Bunny lines – fine lines on each side of the nose when you wrinkle it
    • Marionette lines- vertical lines between the mouth and the chin
    • Lipstick lines – small vertical lines that form above the upper lip
    • Under the eyes (tear trough)

The FDA approved the use of Botox in the following medical conditions:

  • Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating
    • Overactive bladder
    • Upper Limb Spasticity
    • Cervical dystonia (involuntary spasm of neck and shoulder muscles)
    • Chronic migraines
    • Strabismus or crossed eyes
    • Eyelid muscle spasms

How is Botox done?

Botox is done in a doctor’s clinic in just a few minutes. Anesthesia is no longer needed. However, to lessen the pain of injection, some patients request for a topical cream or ice pack to numb the areas. The doctor uses a fine needle to inject small amounts of Botox into the areas to be treated. Botox is measured in units. It comes in a 100 or 50 units/vial. The number of units to be injected varies with each individual depending on factors such as age, weight, gender, patient’s needs, and history of Botox treatment. Generally, most patients request for three areas like the
forehead, crow’s feet, and frown lines or between eyebrows, and doctors usually use an average of 64 units for these three areas.

Cost of Botox

The cost depends on the number of areas to be treated and the doctor’s expertise. They usually charge 15-25 USD per unit. It is best to consult first with a skilled and well-trained doctor to have the most natural youthful effect rather than the freeze or expressionless face.

Other popular brands used aside from Botox are Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau. You may notice softening of fine lines and wrinkles in 1-2 days, but the full effect is visible in 1-2 weeks and typically lasts for 3-4 months.

Dos and Don’ts after Botox
You can go home right after the procedure and can go back to your daily activities. It is advised not to rub the areas treated within 24 hours to avoid the spread of toxin in other areas. It is best to stop alcohol intake one week before and after the procedure. Doctors also recommend not to take Aspirin and NSAID’s 2 weeks before and after to prevent bruising. Exercising is not advised on the day after Botox treatment. Patients are advised not to lie down for 4-6 hours after the procedure.

Side Effects and Possible Complications

Side effects are rare and temporary, provided that it is done by a skilled and well-trained doctor because the amounts of Botox and the areas to be injected must be precise. Some of the side effects include:

  • Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site
    • Droopy eyelid
    • Crooked smile or drooling saliva
    • Dry eyes and excessive tearing
    • Headache and flu-like symptoms

Pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, those with neurological diseases, and those allergic to cow’s milk protein are not advised to have Botox injections. The following are most unlikely to happen but possible. If you experience any of the following, call your doctor immediately:

  • Breathing problems
    • Vision problems
    • Difficulty in speaking and swallowing
    • Loss of bladder control
    • Muscle weakness

What is preventative Botox and what is the right age to get Botox injection?

According to Dr. Gunatheesan, “Preventative Botox works on a theory that commencing regular Botox injections before the appearance of wrinkles, usually in one’s late 20’s, will prevent the  onset of said wrinkles and fine lines.” No wonder nowadays, more and more people get Botox at an early age as compared before. Over 7 million people undergo Botox injections each year in the United States. To prevent fine lines from becoming full-blown wrinkles, preventative Botox is the best solution. Although it is approved for 18 years and older, experts say that a good age for preventative Botox is usually in the mid to late twenties and early thirties. Good thing is that there is no upper age limit for Botox treatment whether you are in your 60’s or 70’s.
If you think you have premature signs of aging or look older than your age, or you have noticed the first signs of fine lines or wrinkles, call Dr. Kamran Khazaei at Nouvelle Confidence to know more about Botox injection. It is affordable, considered to be one of the safest cosmetic procedures, has no downtime required and comes with instant results. Surely, you will enjoy your youthful glow and reverse the inevitable signs of aging as long as you want.

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