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Botox, What You Need to Know


Cosmetic Dermatology, Skin Care

Botox is the most popular cosmetic treatments available. It is a very effective method for achieving more youthful-looking facial skin. However, before you try Botox for the first time, there are certain things you should know about the treatment and what to expect. Dr. Stefan Weiss, Chapel Hill Dermatologist discusses Botox and what you need to know.

How Does Botox Work?

Botox is an injection. The active ingredient botulinum toxin type A, a type of neurotoxin. When Botox is injected into your facial muscles, it prevents them from communicating with the nerves. This stops the muscles from contracting, smoothing out your skin in the process. Moreover, it prevents future wrinkles from forming.

Who Is a Candidate for Botox?

Generally, any adults who would like to reduce fine lines and wrinkles is a good candidate for Botox treatment. However, Botox is not ideal for people who:

  • Are under the age of 18
  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have allergies to botulinum toxin or other Botox ingredients
  • Have active skin infections
  • Suffer from neurological disorders

What Is the Botox Procedure Like?

When undergoing Botox treatment, the procedure is relatively quick and simple. It is a procedure that is performed in the office. The procedure is so comfortable that a topical anesthetic isn’t necessary. The Botox is injected into your skin using a very thin needle. The treatment should only take around 5-10 minutes to complete.

What Is the Recovery Like?

One of the nicest things about Botox treatment is that it doesn’t require any downtime. After the treatment, you will be given specific instructions to ensure that your skin heals properly, which may include:

  • Do not lie down for 6 hours after the procedure
  • Do not scratch or rub the injection sites
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours
  • Do not use any skin treatments the remainder of that day
  • Avoid exercise for 24 hours

Other than the above, you should be able to return to work and resume your normal routine right away after Botox treatment.

What Are the Side Effects?

Before trying Botox, you should be aware of the potential side effects. Most side effects of the treatment are minor and will disappear gradually on their own. These side effects include:

  • Injection site pain, swelling, or bruising
  • Redness
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Infection

Although it is very rare, there are cases in which the neurotoxin in Botox can spread to other areas of the body. This can cause a serious condition called botulism. You should seek immediate medical care if you encounter any of these symptoms:

  • Vision problems
  • Trouble swallowing, speaking, or breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Allergic reaction

How Long Will the Results Last?

After your first Botox treatment, you can expect to start noticing firmer, more youthful-looking skin within 2-7 days. The final results will be visible after around two weeks, and those results should remain for approximately three to four months.

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