Botox

Botox: Cosmetic vs Therapeutic

When people hear the word “Botox,” many immediately think of it as this injection that stiffens up your face. That is obviously a mischaracterization of Botox.

What many do not understand or simply do not know is that Botox can be a remarkably versatile drug. Administered correctly, this drug should be able to benefit individuals in quite a few ways.

You may have heard about the benefits of using Botox that can directly impact your appearance, but it can do so much more than that.

This article will shine a brighter light on what Botox is, its different uses, and the many benefits it can provide. More specifically, you’ll learn more about the cosmetic and therapeutic applications of Botox.

What Is Botox?

Let’s start by first clearing up what Botox actually is. According to MedlinePlus, “Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.”

Seeing the word “toxin” used is enough to quickly put people on edge, but the key thing to remember here is that Botox is carefully managed and administered to ensure that it is safely injected into the body. As long as the injection itself is handled by an experienced doctor, the most common side effects that may stem from receiving Botox include some mild pain, some drooling, a droopy eyelid, the eyes either tearing up or becoming dry and perhaps a headache, per the Mayo Clinic.

It is only in very rare cases where more serious side effects emerge.

You should also know that there are two distinct types of Botox injections, with those being Botox cosmetic and Botox therapeutic. To understand the differences between the two, let’s examine them in greater detail.

What Is Botox Cosmetic?

Botox cosmetic is the variant of this treatment that is more widely known. As its name already hints at, the goal of a Botox cosmetic injection is to essentially improve the recipient’s appearance by commonly targeting crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles that may appear on the face.

Crow’s feet, frown lines, and wrinkles are natural byproducts of the aging process. When people get older, their skin loses a good amount of elasticity. Because of that lack of elasticity, it becomes difficult for the skin to revert back to its original form.

Wrinkles on your face can also emerge as a result of you simply expressing emotions. Emotional expressions can cause a wide variety of facial movements. Repeat those movements often enough and lines may show up on your face as a result.

External factors can also affect the number of wrinkles that emerge on your face. This article from Harper’s Bazaar notes that free radicals, hormone levels changing, and even just being exposed to the sun can cause wrinkles.

To put it simply, wrinkles are just a part of life. You will inevitably get them at some point.

Botox cosmetic injections are intended to help minimize the appearance of those wrinkles. The struggle against aging may be one you can never win, but you can at least try some things that can stave off its not quite as pleasant effects for a little while longer.

With fewer wrinkles on your face, you can also be more confident in your appearance and everyone can use that boost of self-esteem every now and then.

Botox cosmetic injections have also been used to counteract sweating. With no sweat stains on their shirt to worry about, the people on the receiving end of those Botox cosmetic injections can be less self-conscious.

What Is Botox Therapeutic?

Whereas Botox cosmetic injections are more focused on helping you feel better about your appearance, Botox therapeutic injections have a different goal in mind. Instead of getting rid of crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles on your face, these Botox therapeutic injections can directly address certain conditions that people may be dealing with.

Examples of conditions that are often treated with the help of Botox therapeutic injections include chronic migraines and idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia which is otherwise known as severe spasms affecting the neck and shoulder areas.

What many people may not be aware of is that Botox has also been used to problems with the eyes such as strabismus (misaligned eyes) and uncontrollable blinking. Certain problems with the bladder can also be treated using Botox. If you have an overactive bladder, a Botox injection can prove immensely beneficial.

Botox may also be used as a form of treatment for hemifacial spasms, and post-stroke upper limb spasticity, according to Medical News Today.

Even though Botox is commonly regarded as something used for cosmetic procedures, it is very important to remember that it has other benefits beyond that.

How Does Botox Work?

Once Botox makes its way into your body, it proceeds to block certain nerves, effectively leading to some muscles being weakened or even paralyzed. With the state of those muscles altered, changes may also start to take place inside your body.

Those changes can result in you having fewer wrinkles as well as those other therapeutic benefits that were highlighted above.

Regardless of whether you got a Botox injection for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons, the substance works in your body the same way.

What Should You Expect on the Day You Are Getting a Botox Injection?

Just before the injection is administered, you may be given some form of anesthetic. After that, the Botox will be injected into your body. The Botox can be injected either into your skin or into your muscles. The location of the injection will depend on the reason behind why you are getting Botox in the first place.

Don’t be surprised as well if more than one injection takes place, especially if the Botox is being used to treat a larger part of your body.

Once the procedure is done, you can go right back into your normal routine, but do avoid rubbing the area where the Botox was administered for at least 24 hours.

You can also monitor yourself for any possible side effects just to be on the safe side.

How Long Will the Botox Last?

The effectiveness of a Botox treatment can vary.

Typically, the results lasts up to 6 months. If you’re lucky, the effects can last for much longer than that.

A single Botox treatment is not going to last for the rest of your life. For those who want to continue benefiting from it, additional injections will be necessary.

Which Type of Botox Treatment Should You Get?

Whether you should go for a Botox cosmetic procedure or Botox therapeutic treatment is obviously dependent on what issue you are currently dealing with. Feel free to ask your doctor for a recommendation on Botox as well as they should have a good idea of what form of the procedure you can benefit from the most.

Conclusion

The prospect of getting a Botox injection can seem scary and intimidating at first, but there’s no real need to be concerned as long as you’re working with the professional. To be clear, Botox should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment, but there are certain conditions it can help with.

For more information regarding Botox injections, please call the Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute.