Botox: Top things you should know before undergoing the procedure

botox injection

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Botox?

Botox is an injectable cosmetic which contains a toxin called onobotulinumtoxin A. It is used for relaxing the muscles that form the wrinkles for reducing the appearance of wrinkles on the face of an individual. Botox paralyzes the wrinkle muscles and make an individual look young.

Botox also finds its medical usage in treating Cervical Dystonia(neck spasms), Hyperhidrosis(a condition in which a person experiences excessive sweating), lazy eyes and an overactive bladder. Botox injections are very helpful in treating as well as preventing chronic migraines.  There are several other products which use the toxin called Botulinum. The other products are as follows:

– Abobotulinumtoxin A(Dysport)
– RimabotulinumtoxinB(Myobloc)
– IncobotulinumtoxinA(Xeomin)

How to prepare for Botox Treatment?

  • botox wrinklesBotox treatment requires no preparations at all since it is a non-surgical procedure. You should consult with your doctor before the Botox treatment is done and you should let him or her know all your past medical conditions.
  • You have to cleanse all the makeup from your face and especially from the area where the syringe of Botox will be injected.
  • Blood-thinning medications like aspirin should also be avoided before the Botox treatment. This helps in the reduction of risk of bruising.

What is the procedure of using Botox Treatment?

Dilute the Botulinum toxin powder with saline water. Pull this solution into a syringe and it can be directly injected into the neuromuscular tissues. The Botulinum toxin takes 24 – 72 hours to affect an individual. In some rare cases, it might even take 5 days for showing its effects.

Is Botox treatment painful?

Botox treatment is the least painful cosmetic treatment. It has the least number of invasions and hence it is considered very safe as well as very effective for treating the wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes of an individual. Botox can also be injected on the forehead between two eyebrows of an individual.

How does Botox treatment work?

A neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is released at the synapse which is formed when the two ends of the nerve cells meet. The muscle cells contract as this chemical indicator called acetylcholine gets attached to various muscle receptors. Botox prevents the signals from reaching the muscles from the nerve cells by blocking the pathway of acetylcholine. This paralyzes the muscles and thus prevents wrinkles in an individual. Botulinum stops the abnormal contraction of the muscles making the muscles more relaxed and hence makes your face appear free of wrinkles completely.

Which areas in the body can be treated using Botox?

Botox can be injected in the following areas as mentioned below:

  • To treat moderate frown lines and light wrinkles around the eyes, the Botox injection can be injected between the eyebrows in the forehead.
  • The Botox injection can also be injected around the eye area which is also known as the crow’s feet lines.

What are the medical conditions treated by the Botox?

botox injection Besides removing the wrinkles by relaxing the muscles, Botox treats various other medical conditions as well. Some of the most common medical conditions which are treated by using Botox are as follows:

  • Overactive Bladder is the condition in which urinary continence is reduced. Botox Injections are very helpful in treating this condition.
  • Excessive sweating and especially the underarms even in normal room temperature is called hyperhidrosis. This condition can be treated using Botox injections.
  • Spasticity of the lower limb
  • Chronic migraines can be reduced in an individual using Botox treatments. If you are experiencing migraines for more than 15 days in a month, you should prefer Botox Treatment.
  • The twitching or the contracture of the muscles of the eyes can be cured by using Botox injections.
  • Cervical dystonia is a condition in which the involuntary twitching and the contraction of the neck muscles make your neck turn in a very uncomfortable position. This condition can also be treated by using Botox injection.
  • In case there is an imbalance in the muscles of the eyes of an individual, it can cause lazy eyes. Botox injection helps in treating this condition
  • Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition which signified by the inward pulling of your limbs towards the centre. There are several other neurological conditions like this which can be treated via the Botox treatment or the Botox Injection. Hence, Botox can be used for treating muscle contractures too.

 What are the uses of Botox?

Botox finds its use predominantly in the treatment for the reduction of the wrinkles or lines on the face of an individual. It is also used for treating various medical conditions such as eye squints, migraines, excess sweating and leaky bladders or overreactive bladder.Botox finds its therapeutic uses in the following conditions:

  • Spasm of eyelids also known as Blepharospasm
  • Severe spasms in the neck and shoulder muscles which are called Idiopathic Rotational Cervical dystonia 
  • Chronic migraine pains
  • Overactive bladder 
  • Urinary incontinence due to the overactivity of the Detrusor(the wall of the urinary bladder)
  • Crossed eyes or Strabismus
  • Upper Limb Spasticity after undergoing a stroke
  • Hemifacial Spasm 
  • Glabellar line or the frown lines which are formed between the eyebrows
  • Crow’s feet or Canthal lines
  • Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis

There are other medical conditions too which can be treated using Botox(off label) injections. Some of these common medical conditions which can be treated using the Botox off label are as follows:

  • Achalasiain which an individual experiences difficulty in swallowing due to some issues in the throat
  • Dysfunction of the anal sphincter resulting in anal fissure and anismus as well.
  • Production of too much saliva or Sialorrhea
  • Hay fever causing allergic rhinitis
  • Hepatopancreatic issues like dysfunction of sphincter of Oddi. it causes chronic abdominal pain
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • The condition which results in the contraction of the vocal cords forcefully. This is known as the Laryngeal dystonia.

What are the risks and side effects of Botox?

Botox treatment is completely safe yet there are a few risks and side effects of using botox.  Some of the common risks are the following:

– In case a person already has a genetic susceptibility to Botox, there are always chances that the person might have mild to severe unusual response to the drug

– In certain cases, an individual develops antibodies against the Botulinum toxin A which is injected. This renders the whole Botox treatment completely useless or futile since it remains ineffective. Some of the common side effects are as follows:

– Fluid build-up due to oedema
– Erythema is the reddening of the skin that happens at the spot where the syringe of botox is injected
– Mild pain
Chronic headache
– Persisting weakness 
– Fatigue and tiredness
– Unwanted weakness
– Numbness
– Malaise is the general condition of feeling unwell
– Mild nauseatic feelings
– Paralysis of the muscles which are near to the site where the Botox injection had been injected
– Trouble in swallowing also called Dysphagia
– Drooping of the upper lid of the eyes 
– Brow ptosis 
– A weakness of the neck
– Flu-like symptoms 
– Double vision or diplopia
– Bleeding
– Dysfunction of the gall bladder
– Blurry vision
– Your eyesight might show some issues i.e. weak eyesight
– The lateral rectus which is a muscle that controls the movement of the eyes might experience weakness after injecting the Botox syringe
– Brachial Plexopathy which results in the nerves on either side of neck and chest getting affected
– Weakening of eyesight
– Dehydration resulting in a dry mouth
– Red skin rashes
– Wheezing and coughing at times
– Swelling, pain or bruising on the site of the puncture made by the injection
– Persistent or recurrent fevers accompanied by chills
– It can cause dry eyes as well

In rare cases, some symptoms are as follows:

– Experiencing difficulty in speaking
– Facing difficulty while swallowing something
– Breathing problems
– Loss of the control of bladder
– Blurring vision or weakening eyesight
– General weakness and fatigue

What are the long term side effects of Botox?

Besides all the risks and side effects which have been already discussed, there are a few side effects which have adverse health effects for the long term period. Some of the most common side effects which persist for a long time are as follows:
– Drooping of eyelids
– Weakness of neck
– Blurry vision and other issues related to vision
– Nausea and vomiting
– Marked weakness or general weakness
– edema
– Experiencing difficulty while speaking
– Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations
– Hoarseness 

How often should I undergo the Botox Treatment?

The effect of Botox injections lasts for 3 to 4 months generally. The period might alter or vary based on various factors. Some of the most important factors are as follows:

– Your age plays a big role in determining the period if the Botox treatment is going to stay effective for the general period or not. If you are older enough and your muscles have less tone, there are high chances that the effect of the Botox treatment will wear off sooner. In the case of the younger people, the Botox treatment stays for a longer period.

– Your facial structure, as well as your facial expressions, play a pivotal role in deciding how long does the Botox last

– The eating habit of an individual, as well as the frequency of smoking of an individual, decides the period of effectivity of the Botox

– Your skin care habits such as how often you wash and cleanse your face or how often do you moisturize and use facials etc also decide the period for which the Botox will be effective

– The exposure of the sun can decrease the period for which the Botox treatment stays effective. Hence, try using protection against direct exposure to any sunlight and its harmful rays

How to avoid the side effects of Botox?

There are several ways via which you can prevent the side effects of Botox

You should make sure that your health practitioner who is doing the Botox treatment is professional and is well equipped. He or she should be capable enough to handle an emergency if anything goes wrong while injecting the Botox Injection.

Discuss your health problems with your health practitioner and tell him or her about your health conditions which might interfere with the Botox Treatment.

Inform your doctor about all the vitamins, herbal preparations and other supplements which you are consuming. The reaction of various combinations of supplements with Botox might have several adverse side effects on the health of an individual. Hence it is always recommended to discuss with your doctor if you are undergoing any medicinal treatments like injections of antibiotics, muscle relaxants and allergy or cold. In the case of the intake of medications for sleep as well, you should inform your doctor.

It is very necessary to follow the pre and post botox injection instructions which are provided by your doctor. Try consulting the doctor immediately each time you are experiencing any side effect. Neglecting the side effects can lead to life long health issues  

Is Botox safe for your eyes?

The issues related to the eye muscles called strabismus and the uncontrolled twitching of the eyelids(blepharospasm) are treated using the Botox injection. Since there are few side effects of Botox treatment, precautions have to be adopted by an individual.

The side effects of using Botox treatment for eyes are mainly the following blurred vision, double vision, droopy eyelids, weakened eyesight, swelling of eyelid and dryness of eyes. In case you are experiencing any of these side effects, it is very important to report it or inform it immediately to your health practitioner

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