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Beyond wrinkles: Exploring the many faces of Botox

From celebrities to influencers: The Botox trend takes the world by storm, but what's the real deal behind It?
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Looks and appearances matter in today's world to the extent that Botox procedures have taken the world by storm. Gone is the era when such cosmetic procedures were limited to a few prosperous of the society.

These days from celebrities to influencers everyone irrespective of age goes for Botox. Who knows this friend of yours who looks so youthful and flawless had undergone a Botox?

As the perception prevails, Botox is merely confined to getting rid of wrinkles in your late 40s and enhancing your features or popping up whatever element you love. Perceptions apart, what actually is Botox?

Botox treatments are minimally invasive treatments that use botulinum, a purified toxin known as ‘type A toxin’ from a bacterium. This toxin temporarily paralyses the facial muscles not letting them contract and hence, resulting in the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. It is usually injected in between the eyebrows for frown lines and around the eyes for crows’ feet.

An office procedure that can be done in almost as good as 10 minutes with no prior need for general anesthesia or any sort of incision for the procedure has brought Botox worldwide acceptance.

Your cosmetic healthcare provider will numb the area with a topical anesthetic for pain or discomfort concerns.

Here, the most obvious question pops up.

Does it really erase all the wrinkles, crows’ feet, and fine lines forever? Basically, you’re inhibiting the muscle contractions and decreasing the facial movement,” said Dr. Kristen Broderick, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “And then, therefore, you’re preventing or slowing the formation of wrinkles over time.”

Moreover, Doctors stress that the wrinkles are postponed, not prevented. “Mother Nature always wins,” says Dr Mathew Avram, director of the Dermatology Laser and Cosmetic Centre and director of dermatologic surgery at Mass General Hospital in Boston.

Speaking of safety and efficacy, it is FDA-approved and relatively safe. However, minor bruising may develop. Minor side effects include tiredness, headache, swelling or drooping eyelid, neck pain, dryness of eyes, double vision, or allergic reactions. One should take caution after the procedure and avoid rubbing, or massaging the treated area to prevent the toxin from spreading to other areas.

Botox last for four to six months and vary from person to person. The muscles will relax and the wrinkles might return after the effects of treatment wean off. Additional injectables can be given for the maintenance of desired results.

Yet, Botox is generally confused with facelift procedures which is an entirely different procedure and might take up a few weeks to recover.

Last but foremost, don’t fall into the trap of DIY Botox, a trend circulating on social media through YouTube videos or online unregulated Botox tutorials. Your face is precious and should be in safe and authorised hands.

Dr Nisma Haris

The writer is a general physician, content creator

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