What is it? Botox is a protein that temporarily relaxes a muscle; it works by blocking the signal that the nerve sends to tell the muscle to contract. When a muscle is relaxed, it cannot pull on the skin and create wrinkles. The effects last for about 3 months, and the more treatments you have, the more effective it becomes and the longer the results last.
Does it hurt? Surprisingly, Botox is a very quick procedure that doesn’t hurt; in fact, some people don’t even feel it at all. A tiny needle is inserted superficially to deliver a miniscule amount of fluid. A typical treatment involves multiple injections of 2-5 units. One unit of Botox is 1/100th of a milliliter, so even injecting 10 units to one site is only 1/10th of a ml of fluid. If you’re squeamish, we use ice packs, and just 5 seconds of ice is enough to temporarily numb the skin for an injection.
Does it work and is it safe? Yes and yes. In a 2016 study, among many others with confounding results, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found Botox to be “simple, safe and effective” to reduce forehead wrinkles. It is also used for the infamous “elevens” (lines between the eyes), crow’s feet, wrinkles around the mouth, puckered skin on the chin and sagging mouth (aka resting b#*@%h face). You can even get a brow lift using Botox!
Who’s doing it? Everyone. I see younger women and men in their 20’s using it to prevent wrinkles from forming, people in their 30’s – 50’s wanting to soften lines that are starting to establish themselves and seniors looking to reverse the signs aging.
The bottom line is: Botox is a safe, effective, quick and non-invasive procedure that gives you great results without costing a fortune. No wonder it’s gained so much popularity since its approval for use by the FDA in 2002!
Dr. Nicola Bennett, ND