A large number of people are opting for Botox injections to regain a more youthful appearance. Botox was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cosmetic use in April 2002. Botox is now commonly used for facial rejuvenation procedure, giving you a non-surgical face-lift. Botox is great for the treatment of expression lines such as crow's feet and forehead frown lines.

Botox is a safe-to-use bacterial toxin which, when injected into the facial muscles in minute quantities relaxes the muscles and effectively improves the appearance of wrinkles that are caused by the movement of these muscles. The procedure is painless and takes about 10 minutes. Botox injections need to be repeated every few months, as the Botox is broken down by the body.

Botox combats wrinkles that are created when nerve cells within the muscles beneath the skin release a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical triggers a muscle contraction that creates wrinkles. The Botox product, medically known as Botulinum Toxin Type A, is an injectable compound that disrupts the release of acetylcholine, which essentially paralyzes the muscle and stops the contraction. Results are fully evident within one week of the treatment and remains for a minimum of three months.

Botox reduces wrinkles by 80 percent, and while the results are temporary it can vary among individual cases. You will need to plan for additional injections, depending on your long-term treatment goals.

Botox injection is performed in the doctor's office, usually without anesthesia. However, a numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area. Patients may experience some minimal discomfort from the needle injection. Depending on the extent of treatment, the procedure can take a few minutes up to 20 minutes. Generally, patients return home shortly after the treatment is complete.

The selection of injection points is critical to the success of the procedure. The points of injection are first scored with a marking pencil. The doctor may select numerous injection points for each location to be treated. These points may not be located on the wrinkle itself, but at the area where the muscle contracts. Antiseptic is also applied.

The doctor will then determine the amount of Botox to be used for the procedure.

The Botox filler is then injected into the marked points beneath the skin. The toxins in Botox fasten to the muscles' nerve endings, which inhibits the release of the chemical acetylcholine. This will stop the muscle contractions that wrinkle the skin.

Results are usually evident within one week and last about three to five months.

The most common side effects of Botox include headache, nausea, flu-like symptoms and redness and pain at the injection points. Infrequently, patients may experience muscle weakness or drooping of the upper eyelid muscles. This side effect usually resolves itself within days, or in rare cases, months after the procedure.

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