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Everything You Wanted To Know About Botox

Ever been curious about getting Botox? We spoke to Dr James Southwell-Keely about everything to do with the procedure.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified chemical compound produced in a lab that replicates the action of a naturally occurring substance found in nature.

Is Botox only suitable for the face?

No, Botox is used extensively throughout the body to reduce the action of excessive muscular contraction seen in various hypertonic states, such as relaxing elbow contraction in patients with cerebral palsy.

Are there any medical situations where you should get Botox, as opposed to “want”?

Absolutely, Botox is used with great effect in the treatment of a multitude of medical conditions including facial spasm or tics, strabismus (crossed-eyes), migraine, dysphonia (spasm of the voice box), torticollis (wry-neck) and, as already mentioned, cerebral palsy.

Preventative Botox… is it a real thing?

In terms of its cosmetic applications, the theory behind preventative Botox is that repeated, temporary weakening of the facial muscles responsible for wrinkles ultimately prevents the appearance of wrinkles.  Preventative Botox works to prevent the formation of permanent wrinkles, but does not halt other aspects of facial aging.

Once you start having Botox, do you have to keep doing it? 

Once you start using Botox you only have to keep using it if you want to prevent new wrinkles from forming.  Wrinkles occur in two forms, reversible and permanent wrinkles.  Botox will completely remove the reversible ones but will only soften the permanent ones.

Can you become “immune” to Botox?

Your body does not become “immune” to Botox, in fact you often require less of it with repeated use for the same effect as it takes less to weaken the already weakened muscles.

Is there such a thing as too much Botox in your life? Should you stop at a particular number of injections in your lifetime?

The short answer to this question is no, there is no such thing as a lifetime maximum dose of Botox that should not be exceeded.  But you can overdo it in a single sitting and it is not a cure all but is best employed in a multi-modality approach to anti-aging treatment.

Are there any side effects to Botox?

The side effects of Botox relate to the normal effects of the medication when given in excess doses such as a frozen look or, injected by unskilled hands, can lead to an uneven result or even a droopy eye or eyes. This is rare and if the result is not perfect it will wear off in three to six months. In some cases  one eyebrow may raise higher than the other and this can be corrected with a little extra tweak with some more botox to even out the effect.

What’s the difference between botox and fillers?

Botox is a targeted muscle relaxant while fillers stretch or re-“fill” saggy tissues and skin.  So in the face, Botox smoothes away wrinkles and can be used to reshape the face through the relaxation of muscles, as compared to fillers that re-plumb stretched, descended cheeks and facial grooves.

What’s your best tip for minimising the look of wrinkles? Tell us in the comments below. 

Written by Iantha Yu

Iantha Yu is a journalist that specializes in writing and styling beauty, health and lifestyle content. She joins The Carousel as Beauty Editor after previously working at SHOP Til You Drop and Women’s Health magazine, and prior to that, edited her own beauty website.

She firmly believes that good skincare, a bright lippie, or good quality false eyelashes can change your life (or at least your mood for the day).

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