Erase Your Facial Lines With Botox

Ever since receiving FDA approval in 2002, Botox injections have been gaining in popularity as a non-surgical cosmetic treatment for wrinkles. Crow's feet, laugh lines, worry lines and frown lines around the eyes and forehead are some of the common wrinkle areas where Botox is injected. Both men and women opt for the procedure, as aging doesn't discriminate by gender. If you are considering having Botox injections, educating yourself about how it works and the possible side effects is recommended.

How Botox Works

Botox injections work by temporarily paralyzing the muscles at the injection site. It does this by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a chemical that causes muscle contractions that make facial wrinkles. This Botox block can last from two to eight months and can be safely repeated.

Once you have decided to have Botox injections, it's vital that you find a qualified cosmetic surgeon or doctor to perform the injections. He or she can advise you on what results you can expect to see from the treatment and by only allowing a qualified cosmetic professional to perform the procedure, you minimize the risks of any side effects. You should never have Botox injections anywhere except a doctor's office or hospital and never order it over the Internet and attempt to do it yourself.  

What To Expect

When you go in for Botox injections your doctor will usually administer a local anesthesia or a type of cream that will number the injection area. The doctor will then mark the spots where the injections will be made. These injection sites are where the muscle causing the wrinkle contracts, so it may not be directly on the wrinkle. The injections are then administered and the needles used are very fine, so there is minimal bruising or pain. 

The whole procedure should only take up to 20 minutes, depending on how large an area is being treated. You can go back to work or your daily routine right after having the injections, but it's advisable that you stay out of the sun for a few days.

Possible Side Effects

Because an extensive knowledge of facial muscles is required, only a qualified cosmetic surgeon or doctor should administer the Botox injections. Injecting Botox into the wrong site can cause the wrong facial muscles to become paralyzed. This can cause a drooping eyelid, raised eyebrows or in rare cases, being unable to smile or close your eyes. These unwanted effects usually wear off in a few days, but in some cases can last several weeks.

Other potential side effects of Botox injections are a small amount of swelling or redness in the injection area, headaches, nausea, double vision, dry mouth and flu-like symptoms. The FDA hasn't reported any cases, but problems with breathing and swallowing are potential side effects as well.

Another relatively new effect of Botox injections is that patients took longer to read words and sentences that conveyed sad or angry emotions. Words and sentences that evoked happy emotions were read at normal speeds. This study performed by Havas, Glenberg, Gutowski, Lucarelli, & Davidson, 2010 as reported in Wikipedia and the Social Psychology and Personality Science found that there is a link between facial expressions and the cognitive ability to recognize or process emotions. So not being able to frown impacts recognition of sad or angry written words.