Botox 101

Botox has always been a hot topic, though we’ve recently seen a change in the narrative. Now that we’re older and wiser, instead of turning our noses up at Botox, we view it as normal. And, as it turns out, it’s more common than we thought. Still feel a little in the dark about the whole process? Let’s discuss.

What Is Botox?

Botox is an injected drug that causes temporary paralysis of muscles. When used in small doses, it can smooth wrinkles, help prevent migraines, and help treat a number of other health conditions.

How Does Botox Work?

When injected, Botox blocks certain chemical signals from nerves that cause muscles to contract. The effects are temporary but can last for several months. The area of concern will determine the location of the injection site, though several areas can be treated in one session.

What Can Botox Treat?

Botox injections are commonly used as a cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Common injection sites include lips, eyebrows, forehead, nose, eyes, crow’s feet, chin, jawline, and neck. Medically, Botox has been recommended to treat crossed eyes, excessive muscle contractions, excessive sweating, eyelid twitching, overactive bladder, and chronic migraines.

Botox has also been recommended for pain management in the neck, back, jaw, pelvis, joints, and more.

How Much Does Botox Cost?

The cost of Botox depends on whether a doctor has recommended the procedure or whether it’s strictly cosmetic. It also depends on who provides treatment, where treatment occurs, and the number of units involved. Insurance might cover the procedure if deemed necessary by a doctor, but we can’t speak for every situation.

What Are the Risks or Side Effects?

Most people respond to Botox well, and side effects are rare. The reason for injections can also determine how a person will react to the injections. Possible side effects include:

  • Dry eye
  • Upset stomach
  • Numbness around the injection site
  • Pain, swelling, or bruising around the injection site
  • Headache
  • Temporary droopy eyelids when injections are done around the eyes

Things to Know

  • A consultation is extremely important. This is where you will get an idea of what type of Botox you want or need. At this time, you will also get a comprehensive health assessment and let your provider know what medications you take to make sure nothing will react with the drug.
  • Botox is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll be in and out on the same day.
  • The process is relatively pain-free, though you might experience some mild discomfort, which will feel like a quick sting. Often, a numbing agent or ice is applied to prevent this.
  • Avoid rubbing or putting pressure on the area for roughly 12 hours after the procedure.
  • Stay sitting upright for 3-4 hours after the procedure.
  • You should notice results within three days, but the full effect can take up to two weeks.
  • Keep in mind that the effects of Botox are not permanent. Injections typically last 3-9 months.
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