Posted: Aug 17, 2012 9:00 AM
 
Everywhere you turn these days, people are taking advantage of ways to keep themselves looking youthful. Botox is a popular option, but would you consider it? Keep reading for what you should know about this cosmetic enhancement.

Let's face it -- most of us would love to rewind the clock just a bit and regain a more youthful face. By the time you head into your 30s you most likely have some fine lines around your eyes and forehead you would be happy to part with. Beyond the wrinkle creams and potions at your local drugstore, one of your options is to try Botox injections.

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin (commonly known as Botox) is produced by bacteria. In addition to several other medical-related uses, Botox has become a popular treatment for temporary wrinkle reduction. When a small amount is injected into a muscle, the nerve signals that usually tell your muscle to contract are blocked. This temporarily causes the muscle to relax, which in turn reduces the appearance of the wrinkle.

There is minimal downtime after your injections, which usually only take a few minutes. It can take several days to a week before you see the full results of Botox, which will last 3 to 4 months or more. You will need to return for another series of injections when the Botox wears off if you want to continue to see the same reduction in wrinkles.

RisksSyringe

As with any medical procedure, there are risks you should be aware of before deciding whether Botox is the right treatment for you. The most common side effects are: drooping eyelids, headache and bruising. Some people also have reported flu-like symptoms, reduction in blinking, temporary facial pain, redness at the injection site or weakened facial muscles.

Many different types of physicians can administer Botox injections, including dermatologists, board-certified plastic surgeons and facial surgeons -- all of whom have extensive knowledge of facial structure and muscles. You should only be injected with Botox by a reputable physician or nurse in a medical office or at a medical spa -- not at Botox parties that have become popular. Proper placement of the injections by a trained professional will give you the best (and safest) results.

Bottom line

Botox is a more convenient alternative to other popular treatments such as injectable fillers, dermabrasion or chemical peels. To keep up the look, you do need to return for repeat injections as often as every 3 months. The long-term effects of continued Botox treatment are not yet known.

More on looking your best

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