What is Botox? Men and women, young and old are getting injected with this anti-wrinkle miracle drug. But, what exactly is Botox Aesthetic and is it right for you? There are pros and cons to the treatment, so let’s get the basics of Botox down before you decide for it or against it.
Botox is basically a brand name for a neurotoxin. This neurotoxin is a purified protein that has a wide array of medicinal uses from easing pain to reducing perspiration to relieving migraine headaches and blepharospasm to reducing wrinkles. There are other brand names for the same purified protein on the market such as Dysport and Myoblock, however Botox is the most popular due to the marketing of its maker Allergan.
Botox and its friends work by relaxing the muscles causing the wrinkles and furrows so they no longer contract and therefore disappear or appear less noticeable. It can take several days for the treatment to take effect and should last anywhere from 3-6 weeks depending on the individual. With my past experience I’ve found the treatment typically lasts longer on younger females and lasts the shortest time in older males with stronger facial muscles.
This medicine, like any other, can be toxic in large amounts and may cause adverse side effects. However, Botox is generally injected by trained professionals in small doses in order to achieve the desired result. We all know there are possible side effects with any standard dose of medication and Botox is no different. Pain upon injection, redness and swelling at injection site, bruising, nausea, headache, and bleparoptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid) are all possible side effects. These side effects are usually temporary and resolve within a week.
Botox is measured, administered and billed to the patient in units, so it is imperative to know how many units you need before you receive treatment. The standard rate in the Coachella Valley is around $10.00/unit. The number of units needed varies depending on the area being treated. Crows-feet around the eyes may take as little as 20 units, the glabellar area (in between the eyebrows) will need around 30 units and the forehead will require around 40 units. Men sometimes require more units per treatment than women.
Treatment for more serious medical conditions such as hyperhydrosis (excessive perspiration) can require 100 or more units. Keep in mind Botox treatments are not usually covered by insurance for cosmetic or medical reasons. Many offices occasionally run special pricing on treatments, some as low as $7.00/unit.
Despite the frozen appearance we’ve seen some people achieve with Botox, this is actually quite uncommon. Generally a treatment will simply ease the muscles causing the wrinkles and the patient will have a natural expression with less wrinkle-causing movement in the area treated. The effects of Botox are temporary, so if you receive a treatment and don’t like the results, you will go back to regular movement in a matter of weeks. Most Botox patients enjoy their new youthful appearance and return to have regular treatments from their provider.