Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Botox is a popular option for people looking to rid their skin of wrinkles. However, the use of these injections is not just limited to this and must be carried out by certified professionals to avoid any unwanted situation. Experts from the Mayo Clinic have helped clear the air around Botox injections, providing facts about the treatment.

What is Botox?

Botox injections use forms of botulinum toxin — produced by the bacterium that causes a type of food poisoning called botulism — to paralyze muscle activity temporarily. Botox injections are very popular as they help reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles.

How does it work?

The injections with the botulinum toxin block certain chemical signals — usually the ones that cause muscles to contract — from nerves, temporarily relaxing the facial muscles that cause wrinkles.

What is the process like?

The health care provider uses a thin needle to inject tiny amounts of the toxin into the patient’s skin. Botulinum toxin injections usually begin working a few days after treatment, but the number of injections required depends on a number of factors like the size of the area. The effect may last up to three months or more and regular follow-up injections are required to maintain the benefits of the treatment.

What age group is Botox suitable for?

While studies show that people aged 65 and below benefit the most from the injections, there is no restriction on those older than 65 to use Botox. However, the results may not be as effective as in the younger age group. Botox should be used in combination with facial fillers for the older patients to achieve the same results as younger ones.

Will my skin get worse than before I quit Botox?

Botox injections can be stopped at any time without the skin looking worse than it did before Botox was started. Once the treatment is stopped, the wrinkles will go back to the way they looked before Botox, not more wrinkled as a result of the injections. Muscle strength and movement also will return to normal when you discontinue Botox use.

What are the possible side effects?

Even though Botox has been shown to be safe for both short- and long-term use, it must only be administered under the care of an experienced health care provider as it can prove to be dangerous if not given correctly. Side effects are not common but the injections can cause pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site, headaches, flu-like symptoms, eye dryness or excessive tearing, and others in certain cases.

Is Botox only used for cosmetic purposes?

Other than their cosmetic use, the Botox injections are required to treat other medical conditions as well. Some of these are repetitive neck spasms, excessive sweating, overactive bladder and lazy eye. They have also proved helpful in cases of chronic migraines in some patients.

Will my medical insurance cover Botox?

Medical insurance does not cover Botox treatments when it is being carried out for cosmetic purposes.