Many of my patients come to me for Botox® Cosmetic, a revolutionary enzyme that makes wrinkles virtually disappear. At very high doses, it is considered a toxin, but to treat wrinkles, a dilution 3 million times less than the toxic level is used. The Botox enzyme has been used safely and successfully since the 1980s for a number of conditions, including muscular disorders. Side effects do not occur frequently but could be potentially serious, including:
- Chest pain or difficulty swallowing
- Speech problems
- Dry eyes or eye pain
- Double vision
- Signs of an allergic reaction
Botox works by relaxing the muscle that causes wrinkles. When a few drops are injected with a tiny needle into the muscle, it blocks the nerve impulse from reaching that area. As the muscle relaxes, the overlying skin smoothes, and the wrinkles soften and often disappear.
The most common areas for Botox use are the frown lines between the eyebrows, horizontal forehead lines, and crow's feet. The effect of the treatment is only in the immediate area of the injection, so the muscles related to other expressions are unaffected.
Botox treatments are not inexpensive, so some people save treatments for special events. Others budget for 2 or 3 treatments a year to maintain a consistent wrinkle-free appearance. Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover the cost of Botox treatments for certain noncosmetic conditions. The Botox Patient Assistance® Program is also available for financially eligible patients who do not have the resources to pay for their treatment.
Don’t be fooled by unrealistic price discounters. Some practitioners offer low prices because they use a smaller volume of Botox. This will give quick results, but these results may not last long. Proper volume and placement of the enzyme ensures longer-lasting results – three to five months. Effects may last longer, sometimes up to eight months, after several treatments.
With our hectic and stressful lifestyles, Botox treatments offer an easy, effective method for brightening your appearance by taking years off your face.