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Dermal Fillers

What Is Botox?

The face of cosmetic procedures is changing, with anti-wrinkle injectables like Botox finding their way into the market. This article explains what Botox are and various aspects related to Botox.

Botox is one of the most popular anti-wrinkle treatments to manage ageing signs like wrinkles and frown lines. It is a drug that relaxes or weakens muscle cells to help smooth out wrinkles and treat other medical conditions. Botox is made from Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Cosmetic treatment with Botox injection can minimize the appearance of wrinkles on your skin and give you a youthful look. Botox is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)as a treatment for various health conditions such as overactive bladder symptoms, incontinence, migraines, muscle stiffness, strabismus, abnormal head position and neck pain.

What Is Botox?

Botox is a trading name for Botulinum toxin A, an injectable drug that temporarily relaxes your muscles. It is derived from a naturally-occurring bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, found in forests, soils, lakes, fish, and mammals’ intestinal pathways. Botulinum toxin is extremely toxic and poisonous. According to Shaked et al. (2010), a single gram of Botulinum toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatologyexplained that Botulinum toxin is safe when used appropriately. The report indicates that Botox is an FDA-approved treatment for facial wrinkles, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, strabismus, and other neurological disorders. Botox has a few mild side effects that last for a few weeks. It is also an incredible option for those patients who want to enhance their appearance and achieve a more youthful appearance. Besides, no downtime is needed after the procedure so patients can return to work routines.

How Does Botox Work?

Kanaan & Tarek (2020) stated that Botox is a neurolysin. A neurolysin or neurotoxin substance is a toxin that alters the nervous system by altering its functions, including the nerve-signalling system that induces muscle contraction. Botox works by weakening your muscles and causing temporary paralysis. Botox injection blocks the release of acetylcholine to muscle cells. Acetylcholine is a chemical that causes the contraction of muscle cells, which contributes to wrinkles formation. Botox stops this process and makes your muscles less taut.

Cosmetic Uses of Botox

Botox injection helps one reduce the appearance of glabella wrinkles, forehead creases, and wrinkles around the eyes and corners of your mouth. According to Park & Ahn (2021), the main use of Botox injection is to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Although not fully proven, Botox is seen to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Nevertheless, the injection for wrinkles has only been approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.

Medical Uses of Botox       

Medical practitioners also use Botox injections to treat various health conditions, especially those affecting the myoneural (relating to nerves and muscles) system. Some of the FDA-approved medical uses of Botox include:

  • Migraines
  • Overactive bladder
  • Blepharospasm (eyelid spasms)
  • Hyperhidrosis ( extreme underarm sweating)
  • Upper limb spasticity
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)

According to Lewandowski, S & B (2022), some people get Botox injections for unapproved or off-label uses such as;

  • Rosacea
  • Annal fissure
  • Raynaud phenomenon
  • Androgenetic alopecia
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Hailey-Hailey disease and others.

How Is the Procedure Done?

The cosmetic doctor dilutes Botulinum toxin powder in saline and injects it into an individual skin or muscle cells. The doctor will inject different spots depending on the area of the skin being treated. The procedure takes a few minutes, usually 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike dermal filler injections, one will not immediately see the results of a Botox injection. It may take 2 to 3 days before one sees its full effect. In rare cases, it may take up to 5 days to notice the full effect of the treatment.

Possible Side Effects and Complications

Like any other medical procedure, one may experience a few side effects after a Botox injection, depending on the treatment’s reason and metabolism. They include;

  • Numbness
  • Headache
  • Pain
  • Dry eyes
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Stomach upset

Rare Complications Associated with Botox Injection

  • Allergic reaction
  • Arrhythmia
  • Corneal ulceration following treatment of blepharitis
  • Visual complications
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Muscle weakness

Dos and Don’ts When Having Botox Treatment


  • Inform the cosmetic doctor about the medical history to determine whether one is good to receive a Botox injection.
  • Schedule a follow-up session with the cosmetic doctor to monitor the results. You can do this two weeks after the initial procedure.
  • Apply arnica cream before and after the procedure to minimize the chances of swelling and bruising.
  • Call the cosmetic doctor if you notice any serious complications after the treatment.
  • Wait at least one week for the Botox injection to fully effect before making any move concerning possible side effects.
  • Sleep on your back for the first night after receiving a Botox injection.


  • Don’t receive a Botox injection if you have an allergic reaction to its ingredients or any botulinum toxin product.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing for Botox injection and even after the procedure.
  • Do not touch or rub the injected area for at least 24 hours after the procedure. It prevents the injected substance from spreading to undesired places.
  • Don’t sleep on the side where you received a Botox injection.
  • Avoid strenuous activities and extreme workouts for at least 24 hours after receiving Botox.
  • Avoid other aesthetic treatments such as micro-needling, peels, and lasers for a week.
  • Avoid blood-thinning substances such as alcohol, aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and herbal supplements one week before and after receiving Botox.
  • Avoid intense heat such as sunbeds, prolonged sunlight exposures, hot tubs and saunas after receiving Botox.

You Cannot Have BotoxIf You Are:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Below 18 years old
  • Allergic to botulinum toxin products
  • Having an infection on the area to be injected

Frequently Asked Questions about Botox

How Much Does Botox Cost?

Botox injections’ cost varies depending on the cosmetic injector and the treatment area. In most cases, the price ranges from $140 to $600, depending on the number of vials you need.

How Long Does Botox Last?         

The results of Botox injection last for about 3 to 4 months. One may need a top-up injection to maintain the desired appearance after the effects have subsided.

What Is the Difference Between Botox and Dermal Fillers?    

Despite Botox and dermal fillers working differently, they are used to achieve the same results. The main difference between Botox and dermal fillers is that the former weakens the muscle cells to reduce wrinkles and creases. At the same time, the latter adds fullness to areas of your skin that have lost volume.


Botox has both cosmetic and medical uses. However, many patients get Botox injections for cosmetic benefits such as minimizing the appearance of wrinkles to maintain a refreshed and youthful look. Botox is also an approved medicine for certain health conditions related to the myoneural (neuromuscular) system. Before receiving a Botox injection, you must consult a cosmetic doctor, who determines whether one is in good condition to receive the injection. Botox treatment is a minimally invasive procedure with few side effects and no downtime. If you are considering Botox treatment, ensure you have all the knowledge about the cost, possible risks, and other considerations.


Kanaan, M. H. G., & Tarek, A. M. (2020). Clostridium botulinum, A FOODBORNE PATHOGEN AND ITS IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health23, 49-62.

Lewandowski, M., Świerczewska, Z., & Barańska-Rybak, W. (2022). Off-Label Use of Botulinum Toxin in Dermatology—Current State of the Art. Molecules27(10).

Park, M. Y., & Ahn, K. Y. (2021). Scientific review of the aesthetic uses of botulinum toxin type A. Archives of Craniofacial Surgery22(1), 1.

Shaked, R. K., Singh, M. K., Singh, P., & Gupta, P. (2010). Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug. The Indian journal of medical research132(5), 489.

Tatyana Dyachenko