The selection of injection points is critical to the success of the procedure. The points of injection are first scored with a marking pencil. The doctor may select numerous injection points for each location to be treated. These points may not be located on the wrinkle itself, but at the area where the muscle contracts. Antiseptic is also applied.
The doctor will then determine the amount of Botox to be used for the procedure.
The Botox filler is then injected into the marked points beneath the skin. The toxins in Botox fasten to the muscles’ nerve endings, which inhibits the release of the chemical acetylcholine. This will stop the muscle contractions that wrinkle the skin.
Depending on the extent of treatment, the procedure can take a few minutes up to 20 minutes. Generally, patients return home shortly after the treatment is complete.
Botox injection is performed in the doctor’s office, usually without anesthesia. However, a numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area.
Patients may experience some minimal discomfort from the needle injection.
The most common side effects of Botox include headache, nausea, flu-like symptoms and redness and pain at the injection points. Infrequently, patients may experience muscle weakness or drooping of the upper eyelid muscles. This side effect usually resolves itself within days, or in rare cases, months after the procedure.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires black box labeling on Botox and similar products to warn of a rare, but potentially life-threatening complication if the toxin spreads beyond the injection site. A black box is the strongest warning that the FDA can place on a product. None of these complications occurred in people using Botox for cosmetic reasons and the FDA states that cosmetic use of Botox appears to be safe.
Talk to your doctor to fully understand the risks, complications and remedies.
You can resume normal activities immediately, but your doctor may advise you to stay out of the sun. Report to your doctor immediately any unmanageable pain or symptoms that are progressive or abnormal.
Results are usually evident within one week and last about three to five months.
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