Botulinum Toxin Injection (Botox)
Injections of Botox, a purified product of the bacterium that causes botulism, was one of the single most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2004, when doctors performed more than 2.8 million Botox injections. Unlike injectable fillers, which add volume to plump up wrinkles, Botox is injected into a muscle, blocking nerve signals that make the muscle contract. This weakens or paralyzes the muscle, causing the wrinkle to smooth out or disappear. The most popular sites for Botox injections are the forehead, frown lines, crow's feet, and vertical neck bands. Incidentally, Botox is only FDA approved for frown lines; other uses are considered "off label."
Pain Level/Recovery Time: The injections take only a few minutes and you can return to your regular routine right away. The effects may become apparent immediately, or they may take three to four days. Complete results typically are evident in a week. However, wrinkles may return within 120 days. Most patients return for repeat treatments every four to six months to maintain the effects. In addition, Botox may carry some side effects. These include bruising, redness, headache, flulike symptoms, drooping eyelids, and nausea.
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