Though getting cosmetic surgery might seem like an extreme move, more and more women are getting Botox each year — making it a commonplace procedure. In 2018, Australia surpassed America (per capita) in terms of the amount of money spent on plastic surgery each year.
If it feels like it’s commonplace, it’s because it is. Before you decide to get Botox yourself, it’s important to know the ins-and-outs of the process.
Here we’ll attempt to answer all your questions about Botox so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
What Exactly Is Botox?
Botox is a TGA approved drug that works by, “weakening or paralysing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves” to smooth out wrinkles and lines, creating the appearance of smooth skin, MedLine Plus explains.
The treatment itself consists of multiple small injections into the target area. Cosmedical Clinic, one of Australia’s leading cosmetic clinics explains the science in more detail.
“Very small doses of the anti-wrinkle product need to be used to produce an effective result. BTX acts as a neuromuscular block,” the clinic’s site states.
“Once it has been injected into the muscle it diffuses into the tissue and blocks the action of acetylcholine, which is a neural transmitter, thus preventing muscle activity.”
What is Botox Made From?
What we know as Botox is actually a drug produced from a toxin. This neurotoxin is “derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic,” Medical News Today reports.
Though the neurotoxin itself is dangerous in nature, the bacteria that produce it are generally harmless in natural situations, appearing in soils and forests as well as “intestinal tracts of mammals and fish and in the gills and organs of crabs and other shellfish.”
Are There Side Effects to Botox?
Though the procedure is quite common, there are still potential side effects to keep in mind. Cosmedical Clinic breaks it down further:
“Side effects are possible but are uncommon. These include:
- Headaches –generally helped with minimal painkillers
- Bruising – may last 2-5 days (can be disguised with make-up)
- Eyelid ptosis – may last for up to 3 months but very uncommon
- Brow ptosis – as above
- Ectropion – as above”
In rare cases, Healthline explains, more serious side effects might arise. These include difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing, vision problems, loss of bladder control, and weakness. Though it’s unlikely, if you experience any of these it’s necessary to receive immediate medical attention.
Is Botox Bad For You?
Despite its toxic status, Botox is “perfectly safe—as long as it’s made and administered by a licensed professional,” Allure shares. While helpful in clearing fine lines, Botox is also used to treat chronic migraines and other muscular problems.
Keep in mind, that there are long term effects as well. These might include visibly thinner skin, or wrinkles popping up in other places as your face starts to move in new ways.
And though it’s generally safe, those who are pregnant or have neurological disorders should avoid the procedure. No matter what, make sure to talk to your doctor about it first so that you can get all the information specific to your health and medical history.
How Much Does Botox Cost and Where Can You Get It?
Botox is administered in units, with each one costing between $10-15. Per area treated, that rounds out to roughly $250-$500, according to Healthline. Don’t forget that Botox wears off after a while, meaning you’ll need to get follow-up procedures to maintain the effects. The frequency depends on how your body responds to the treatment.
That considered, one year of Botox could ring in anywhere from $750 -$2,000.
If you’ve decided to try it yourself, we recommend that you go to a licensed physician. That way, you can ensure everything will be done right and follow standard procedures.