Everything You Should Know About Botox

For years, doctors have used Botox to weaken and treat wrinkles and facial creases.  This drug gets its brand name from Botulinumtoxin, which gets produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  Other products such as Dysport and Xeomin can serve the same purpose as Botox, but Botox is famous since it was the first injectable botulinum toxin.

Many people have heard of Botox because of its use among celebrities and actors. In this article we will try and explain in simple terms what Botox is, how it can be used safely and what the side effects are. We hope that this information will be useful to you as you consider whether or not to proceed with a Botox procedure.

How Is Botox Used?

Botox is dangerous, but when used in small doses, it’s beneficial. It’s used for both medical and cosmetic treatments. In the cosmetics field, doctors use it to:

  • Reduce skin or face wrinkles
  • Treat moderate frown line between the eyebrows
  • Treat crow’s feet- lines around the eyes

In the medical field, it’s used to treat several conditions, including:

  • Eyelid spasms (blepharospasm)
  • Chronic Migraine
  • Hyperhidrosis or severe underarm sweating
  • Overactive bladder
  • Lower limb spasticity
  • Cervical dystonia, a neurological condition that results in severe neck and should muscle spasms.

How Does Botox Work?

Botox works by blocking nerve signals and muscle contractions. Thus, preventing muscles from contracting.  This process relaxes and softens muscles, therefore improving facial appearance.

Botox injections mainly focus on forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet. However, it won’t work on wrinkles or lines resulting from sun damage or gravity.

How Is a Botox Procedure Done?

A Botox treatment usually takes a few minutes – you won’t even require anesthesia. However, you might feel some discomfort because the doctor injects small doses of Botox into specific muscles.

Usually, it takes one to two weeks before the treatment can take full effect.  You’re recommended to avoid alcohol for about a week before undergoing the procedure. Also, you might have to stop taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs two weeks before the procedure to prevent bruising.

To avoid spreading the Botox to other places, avoid rubbing the injected area for about 24 hours. The doctor might also advise you to sit upright for approximately four hours after the treatment and you must avoid exercising that day.

What Is the Duration of a Botox Shot?

If you’ve received a Botox shot, then its effect would last or about 3 to 6 months.  After that period, muscle action will start returning slowly and so will the wrinkles. But the lines and wrinkles won’t be so severe since the muscles will still be shrinking.

Are There Any Side Effects of Botox?

You might experience some minor and temporary side effects after receiving a Botox Injection, such as discomfort and bruising.   

Other people might experience headaches which can last one to two days. In other cases, the headache can last for 3 weeks.  This occurs if the Botox moves around, that’s why you’re advised not to rub the treated region.

Other side effects include:

  • Swelling and drooping in the eyelid area
  • Drooling or crooked smile
  • Mild pain or swelling around the treatment area
  • Stomach upset
  • Allergic reaction, such as itching, rash, or asthma symptoms
  • Eye dryness or severe tearing
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in nearby muscles
  • Flu-like symptoms or general unwell feeling

Individual Who Should Avoid Botox

Pregnant ladies, breastfeeding ladies, or anyone with a neurological disorder should avoid using Botox. Keep in mind the Botox doesn’t work on every type of wrinkles or lines, so it’s wise to consult your doctor first.

Also, don’t receive a Botox injection if you have a cow’s milk protein allergy.

Will Health Insurance Cover for Botox?

If you’re receiving Botox for cosmetic purposes, your health insurance won’t cover the cost. Consult your health insurance provider to view coverage details.


The decision to receive Botox is a personal choice. It’s recommended that you read online reviews of different clinics and doctors before you decide on one. Botox can have a big impact on reducing wrinkles and making someone appear younger, however there are some potential side effects to be aware of.