How Does Botox Work?

  1. Young natural woman

Botox is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in the United States, with more than 6 million treatments done annually. The simple injection smooths out unsightly frown lines, forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet by temporarily paralyzing some of the muscle fibers in your face. Only a very small amount of the drug is used, so muscles are weakened and not permanently paralyzed. This means you can still smile and make other facial expressions as you normally would.

What Botox Does

Wrinkles generally start to disappear after a few days and you will enjoy the full benefit of the treatment after about two weeks. The effects usually last from three to six months, but they can last longer after several treatments. Botox is less expensive than surgery and there’s no long recovery to worry about. It can also produce a much more natural looking result without the risks of general anesthesia. A qualified doctor, such as Dr. Parvin Mani of San Diego Cosmetic Laser Clinic, can give you an injection in just a few minutes.

Origins of Botox

Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin A, a neurotoxin derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. There are six different types of botulinum toxin, but most research has been done with type A. Generally, this bacteria is nontoxic. It lives in soil, water and the intestinal tracts of fish, shellfish and animals. When its spores transform into vegetative cells and the population increases, the bacteria produce botulinum toxin. Botox is made with a very small amount of purified botulinum toxin A, diluted in saline solution to safely relax muscles.

How Botox Works

Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine at nerve endings. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that attaches to receptors on muscle cells and tells them to contract to move the face or body. Botox inhibits facial muscles that are constantly in motion while chewing, talking, blinking, and performing other activities. Your doctor will decide which facial muscles are causing your wrinkles, and then inject Botox near those areas to reduce the wrinkles.

Before Your Appointment

To prevent bruising, do not consume alcohol for a week before treatment. Avoid anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen for two weeks before your appointment. People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have had an allergic reaction to Botox or any of its ingredients should not undergo a procedure.

After Treatment

The injection site may be sore, but you should not massage or rub the area for at least 12 hours. Doing so could cause the Botox to move to another part of your face. You should also sit up for at least three hours following treatment. In rare cases, symptoms similar to food poisoning can occur. Other more common side effects include mild bruising, swelling, fatigue, dry eyes, and blurred vision. If you encounter any of these, they should go away in about 48 hours.

If you would like to learn more about Botox treatments, Contact Dr. Parvin Mani of San Diego Cosmetic Laser Clinic for a free consultation. Dr. Mani performs all procedures herself and she is a Platinum award winner for Botox, as well as Juvederm, Restylane, Restylane Lyft, and Thermage skin tightening. She also offers Latisse, sclerotherapy for spider and varicose veins, laser hair removal and more.