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Botox is a cosmetic rejuvenation treatment that can reduce common signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Knowing more about Botox and how it works can help you determine whether this treatment is right for you.

What is Botox?

Botox is an injectable treatment that can reduce the appearance of unwanted lines and wrinkles on your face. According to the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Botox is the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. People generally seek this treatment to rejuvenate their overall appearances and minimize lines that make them appear older, worried, or angry, adds the university.

The primary Botox definition is botulinum toxin type A. The active ingredient in this medication is a toxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, says the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How is Botox used?

Botox is generally used to smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly those around the mouth, eyes, lips, nose, and brows, reports OHSU. It may also be used to treat health problems including severe underarm sweating, uncontrollable blinking, chronic migraine, and an overactive bladder, reports the NIH.

How does Botox work?

According to the NIH, Botox injections work by blocking certain nerves that control muscles, or by paralyzing certain muscles. This can prevent muscles—such as those in your brow—from moving and contracting to form fine lines and wrinkles. The NIH adds that the effects of Botox are temporary and usually only last between three and 12 months, depending on the areas being treated.

How is a Botox procedure done?

Botox injections are usually performed by a dermatologist or trained injectionist in a clinical outpatient setting. Botox treatment is minimally invasive and requires no anesthesia. According to Washington University and OHSU, the procedure is relatively painless and lasts for only a few minutes.

According to OHSU, during your appointment, your doctor will inject the Botox solution into the areas of your face you want to be improved and rejuvenated. You can then resume your normal daily activities without downtime. According to the University of Southern Florida, Botox treatment produces minimal to no bruising, and results are often noticeable within four to 10 days after your procedure.

What areas of the body can be treated with Botox?

When used for cosmetic enhancements, Botox is typically only used on the face, according to Washington University. Many people choose to get Botox on the forehead and Botox for frown lines. Botox can also be used to reduce the appearance of scarring on the face, reports Washington University.

Your dermatologist can examine your face and the areas you want to be treated with Botox to confirm whether these injections can help you meet your personal aesthetic goals. If you are interested in getting Botox to treat another health condition such as severe underarm sweating, talk to your doctor about whether this treatment can help improve your condition.

How long does a Botox shot last?

The NIH says the effects of Botox injections can last between four and 12 months. Washington University and OHSU say Botox results usually only last between four and six months. Your dermatologist can give you a more realistic timeframe for what to expect in regards to the long-term effects of Botox.

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  3. BOTOX® Injections
  4. Botox
  5. Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect (April 10, 2019)
  6. Botox, Dysport, & Xeomin
  7. Botox: 5 things to know (March 26, 2018)
  8. The whole truth about botulinum toxin – a review (December 2020)

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