Botox is a neurotoxin that gets injected with a needle
When people get Botox, what exactly are they putting into their face? Plastic surgeon, Dr John Paul Tutela, explains, “Botox is a cosmetic injectable neurotoxin that is a very diluted form of botulinum toxin, which is found in the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. In this diluted format, it is used to relax your muscles – typically in your forehead, in between your eyebrows, and around your eyes.” The idea is that if you temporarily block local nerve impulses to specific muscles within your face, you won’t make certain facial expressions, so you won’t form the wrinkles that come with them, explains dermatologist, Dr Tsippora Shainhouse.
Botox is safe, when done correctly
The idea of a needle going toward your forehead, in between your eyes, or at your eyebrows might be a little daunting, but rest assured, not only is Botox approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), but it’s a very common (and highly-requested) procedure. It’s commonly used for cosmetic reasons, but it also helps alleviate a slew of other health concerns. “Botox was first approved to treat blepharospasm of the eyelid, and now can treat hundreds of medical conditions, such as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) or chronic migraines,” says dermatologist, Dr Jill S. Waibel. She also notes that it was approved for cosmetic purposes in 2002. “Since then, millions of people have had Botox done safely and effectively. It is important to remember that Botox is safest when used by a board-certified dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.”
There’s no magic age to have it done
Younger patients have been increasingly hopping on the Botox bandwagon as a preventative measure – even before the wrinkles appear or deepen. That’s why dermatologists can’t recommend the best age to start or try Botox, since it depends on your goals, your facial expressions, and your preference. “Each time we raise our eyebrows, or scowl by bringing our eyebrows together, the wrinkles in these locations get deeper and more numerous. It happens slowly over a long period of time, so you don’t notice it on a daily basis,” Dr Tutela says. “But if you look at the horizontal wrinkles in your forehead when you are not raising your eyebrows, you will see an increase in these wrinkles when you do raise your brows. If you then hold that raised brow position for 10 seconds, you will notice when you relax, your forehead wrinkles look deeper and more numerous. Botox prevents this from happening.”