In the world of wrinkles, Botox is probably the treatment that you are most familiar with. For the last 30 years, Botox has been effectively attacking lines and wrinkles found on the forehead, crow’s feet and the glabellar lines (between the eyes). Botox is given through several injections over the needed areas, and treatment usually varies between 12 and 64 units. After treatment, results will begin to show after a few days, but you may not be able to see the final results until about 2 weeks. When it comes to fighting wrinkles, Botox is super reliable- making it the number one nonsurgical cosmetic “procedure” in the United States. (2)

What Exactly Is Botox? (1)

Botox is an injectable drug made from botulinum toxin type A. This toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Although this is the same toxin that causes botulism — a life-threatening form of food poisoning — its effects vary according to the amount and type of exposure. For example, Botox is only injected in small, targeted doses.

When injected, Botox blocks signals from your nerves to your muscles. This prevents the targeted muscles from contracting, which can ease certain muscular conditions and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Keep reading to learn more about the safety of Botox, common uses, side effects to look out for, and more.

Is Botox Safe?

Although botulinum toxin is life-threatening, small doses such as those used in the application of Botox are considered safe.

With that in mind, some researchers speculate that cosmetic applications may carry less risk than therapeutic Botox injections, as the doses are usually much smaller.

One 2005 study found that adverse effects were more likely to be reported with therapeutic use. This may be related to the underlying condition, or it may be because higher doses are needed to treat the condition.

Still, the overall risk is minimal, and Botox is considered safe overall.

You should always go to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for Botox injections. You’re more likely to experience adverse side effects if your injections aren’t prepared according to FDA standards or injected by an inexperienced doctor.

You should wait to receive Botox if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

How Is Botox Used Today?

Botox is typically known for its ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. For example, Botox injections can relax the muscles that cause:

  • crow’s feet, or wrinkles that appear at the outer corner of the eyes
  • frown lines between the eyebrows
  • forehead creases

It’s also used to treat underlying muscular conditions. This includes:


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