Everything You Need to know about
What is Botox Good For?
Botox Secrets That You Should Know & Avoid
Am I Good Candidate for a Botox Treatment?
Er, we have good news and bad news…
Here’s the good news: everyone has the same basic nerve system so, Botox will work for almost everybody.
The bad news is that we used the word ‘almost’. There are certain people who may be better off not having Botox. We’ve come up with a simple checklist so you can assess your suitability for the procedure. Just answer the following questions:
Yes No I have dynamic wrinkles on my face and I want to erase them.
Yes No I am not pregnant and I don’t have plans of conceiving.
Yes No I am not lactating and I don’t have plans of breastfeeding.
Yes No I don’t have any neuromuscular disease.
Yes No I don’t have any allergic reaction to the Botulinum Toxin.
If you answered NO to any of the questions above, Botox may not be right for you at this point in time. Let us expound a little bit on each of the items above.
1. Dynamic Wrinkles
We’ve mentioned dynamic wrinkles quite a number of times already and we were holding off explaining what it meant for this part. We know that not everyone is aware that there are actually 2 types of facial lines (some of us didn’t know either!) so we’ll go a wee bit off tangent to discuss them. We promise it will be worth the read so, let’s get on with it…
The 2 kinds of wrinkles are called static and dynamic. Botox has been proven effective in reducing the appearance of dynamic wrinkles but it offers no help in erasing the static ones. The reason behind this lies in how the wrinkles came to be in the first place.
Static wrinkles are the fine lines that usually result from aging. As we grow older, our skin loses natural substances like collagen and elastin, both of which contribute to our skin’s strength and elasticity. A little known fact is that women lose 1% of their dermal collagen every year. That means that as we mature, the structure of our skin becomes weaker and more prone to develop fine creases.
If you find yourself wanting to erase your static wrinkles, cosmetic medicine has developed several means to help you out. At present, the available options are collagen injectable fillers, dermabrasion, Thermage skin tightening treatments and Fraxel resurfacing treatments. Note that Botox is NOT one of the treatments that can help in reducing the appearance of these static wrinkles because the problem stems from the weakening of the skin itself – a condition unrelated to the muscle underneath.
Dynamic wrinkles, on the other hand, are created from repeated folding of the skin due to muscle contraction when we animate our face. We might not notice while we’re doing them but common expressions require muscle movement. Grooves form beneath the surface of the skin when the muscles move and bunch up. When these grooves appear frequently, they eventually become our crow’s feet, smile lines, frown lines and horizontal forehead lines. This is the kind of wrinkle what Botox addresses.
When the muscle is paralyzed and deactivated, we lose the ability to scrunch up our face. When this happens, the overlaying skin can let its natural tension gain control. The skin will smoothen out and the appearance of wrinkles will be visibly reduced.
2. Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
The FDA has labeled Botox under Pregnancy Category C which means 2 things: (1) that animal testing showed an adverse effect on the fetus and, (2) no adequate studies on expecting mothers have been made. In addition, no extensive testing has been done, as yet, to be able to assure the safety of Botox use during pregnancy or lactation so, it may be best to refrain from having a treatment under these circumstances.
3. Neuromuscular Illnesses
These are the illnesses that affect the nervous system (remember our brief discussion on the science behind Botox?). They compromise the nervous control of muscles such that the brain can no longer direct their muscular movements. Because their nervous systems are already weak, people suffering from a neuromuscular condition are more vulnerable to the side effects of Botox. To avoid further complication, it will be to their best interest to sit out a procedure.
4. Allergy to Botulinum Toxin
People who are allergic to the Botulinum toxin are also known to be more prone to experience the side effects of a Botox treatment. This is pretty self-explanatory but we still thought it was worth mentioning. The usual signs of allergic reactions to Botox are anaphylaxis and serum sickness both of which are characterized by hives, itching and difficulty breathing, among other things.
If you experience any of these symptoms after having Botox, it may be best to err on the side of caution and forgo future procedures.
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