Botox skin treatments

Botox is short for "botulinum toxin," which is a potent poison produced naturally by bacteria. While it can be used to control muscle spasms, its primary medical application lies with age-related skin treatments.

Botox Cost Considerations

Each Botox injection costs about $200 to $400; it costs doctors about $500 to buy Botox vials, and each vial contains enough medication for about five treatments. Injection sites are localized, and you'll likely need multiple shots of Botox if you want to treat wrinkles on both sides of your face. You'll also need to have the doctor administer subsequent injections every six months or so.

Patient Evaluation

Botox cosmetic treatments are indicated for horizontal forehead creases, crow's feet, scowl lines and vertical wrinkles on your upper lip. Pregnant women and individuals with nervous system disorders should not receive Botox injections.

The Botox Injection Procedure

Your plastic surgeon will perform the injection in his or her office on an outpatient basis. It is virtually painless, and a local anesthetic is not usually required. However, you may experience slight discomfort when the needle penetrates your skin, depending on the location of the treatment.

Botox Risks

Generally speaking, Botox is very safe, despite the negative attention it's received; all serious side effects and deaths are associated with the non-cosmetic use of the toxic compound. While the risk of an allergic reaction to Botox is very small, it is nonetheless a possibility. Your surgeon will be able to control the effects of an allergic reaction, should the need arise.

The primary risks associated with Botox include drooping effects on the face and, particularly, the upper eyebrows and forehead. Some patients report a diminished ability to raise their eyebrows; this usually subsides, but can take a period of months.

Recovering from a Botox Injection

Your recovery is virtually immediate. You will not have to take time off work; some patients report mild bruising, which usually clears up in a few days. Within 24 to 48 hours, you will notice the positive effects Botox has on your wrinkles.

Botox Alternatives

Botox cream is available as an alternative to injection-based therapy; however, its efficacy has not been clinically proven. To treat wrinkles, you can also use dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, radiofrequency therapy and facelift surgery.