Wondering Whether You Should Take Botox? Here's Some Information From the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has released a Q & A on botox and its related procedures. Here are some highlights.
What exactly is botox?
Botox's formal name is botulinum toxin – that's right, it's a toxin! It comes from the same bacteria that cause the fatal botulism. But doctors have been able to use the toxin in just the right amounts with surgical precision such that the effects of botulism only affect the muscles responsible for wrinkles or overactive muscles that are causing your body harm.
How is botox administered?
It's almost like getting a vaccine! Your doctor can apply botox in less than 15 minutes without you needing any kind of anesthesia. All he would do is inject a specific amount of botox to the target muscles – and that's it.
Ideally, the botox only affects the muscles they're injected to – so you don't have to spend time recovering, you can just be up and about with less wrinkles right after you walk out of your doctor's office.
This sounds dangerous. Are there any side effects?
Of course. Injecting toxins into your system intentionally can always go wrong. Even if nothing goes wrong, your liver ultimately will have a harder time because it has to neutralize the botox or its byproducts.
If you rub or massage the injected areas within a short period of time from the botox application, the botox can spread to unintended areas. This can lead to temporary weakness in your face or a drooping face. It can also lead to damage to other parts of your body, since the toxin may enter vital parts.
They can also cause changes in your brain. Psychologists found that botox injections near or in the forehead can seep into the brain and change its sensory map of your hands. They postulate that repeated botox injections over the long term could cause brain damage.
How much exactly is it to get botox done?
To get a doctor to inject toxins into your face, it will cost approximately $400. It could cost more or less depending on your insurance coverage, the doctor involved, and state laws.
Now that you know more about botox, you can make an educated decision whether to get it done or not. But you should always ask yourself: Is getting rid of my wrinkles a good excuse to risk the side effects?