Photo: Olly

Botox To Go: A Sip Of Poisonous Youth

Botox injections are becoming more popular amongst women of colour who want to look more youthful. Many consider it as part of their regular beauty regime, even actress singer Vanessa L. Williams (pictured below) swears by it. “I use it very sparingly,” Williams told “People” magazine. “I want to look natural.” 

The danger lies in the drug being overused or for people to over-apply

Botox injections are actually a diluted form of botulism, a form of food poisoning, its original purpose was to treat neurological disorders. In 1989, it was approved by the FDA to treat eye muscle disorders and in 2000 to treat cervical dystonia, a disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder contractions and also a very unusual side effect of eye disorder treatments. In their research, doctors discovered that Botox softened the frown lines between the eyebrows.

When Botox is injected into the muscles of the forehead, it blocks nerve impulses that result in the weakening of the muscles that cause frowning. Over a period of several months, given enough of these injections, the frown lines start to soften and in many cases disappear completely.

Every time you laugh, smile, frown, or do just about anything with your facial muscles, wrinkles are caused by the underlying contractions of these muscles. When these creases become permanent, no kind of skin cream can get rid of them. That is where Botox comes in.

After being injected into the effected area, it temporarily paralyses the targeted areas so that you cannot make these expressions.

It inhibits the release of acetylcholine, a chemical responsible for the contraction of muscles. That is why people who have had Botox injections literally look like mannequins. You will still have enough movement but not enough to cause these wrinkles.

The danger lies in the drug being overused or for people to over-apply, thinking that it will lengthen its the effect. Too much use of botox can produce disastrous side effects.

Injecting too much Botox or  injecting it on the wrong area can cause droopy eyelid muscles, a condition called ptosis. This could last for several weeks.

Other side effects are headaches, respiratory infections, flu-like symptoms and even nausea. Some people will also experience pain on the area where it was applied as well as redness and swelling. There will also some muscle weakness around the area where the Botox was injected.

 Some people  are allergic to Botox so it is best to first consult a qualified physician.

So what is the price for this fountain of youth? Botox is not cheap. The average cost of just one injection in the U.K is about £200. This also depends on what area of your face is getting the injections.

Near the eyes is more expensive, costing between £400 and £900 per injection. For large surface areas such as the forehead, it can be between £600 and £1300 a pop.

Results of the treatment normally lasts for approximately three to six months. Patients report that after several treatments the effects of this wrinkle cure last much longer.

It is important to note that Botox is ineffective for fine wrinkles because these do not appear as a result of facial expression caused by facial muscles.

While Botox has been safely used by millions of patients, it is recommended that pregnant women, or women who are breastfeeding their babies, as well as patients suffering from neurologic disease should never use Botox.

Botox treatments do not work for everyone, but over 90% of patients who have been surveyed are extremely happy with this procedure. However, people should still do research on the popular treatment in order for them to make an informed decision.

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