Ageing is a natural irreversible process. It leads to many physical, mental and psychological changes in human beings. As humans grow older they grow wiser and calmer, but they also develop wrinkles, loose skin and a variety of body aches along the way.
Wisdom is a great addition, but wrinkles are an unwanted one. Thankfully, medical science has found the answer in Botox and fillers. Botox treatments help in restoring a youthful face and bring back the fresh, happy glow the person had before wrinkles took over.
Dr. Ashish Davalbhakta, our chief Plastic Surgeon is writing this blog to dispel myths about the Botox treatments and to help you in understanding “What is Botox?”, “What are the benefits of Botox?” and “What are the risks associated with Botox treatments?”
The name Botox is actually the name of the brand that creates Botox injectable liquids. The liquid is produced from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic.
There are three main formulae that create the botox that is used in cosmetic treatments:
For our blog, we will be referring to all of them simply as Botox.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox is a neurotoxin, which when used in the right quantity can relax facial muscles. Essentially Botox stops the signal sent by the brain to the muscles, which means the muscles don’t move. The temporary pause in the movement of the muscles leads to a pause in the creation of wrinkles.
When Botox stops the muscles from developing wrinkles it makes the appearance of the face younger and smoother. Patients who get Botox treatments often say that their skin even grows softer post-treatment.
It is important to note that Botox is an ideal treatment for dynamic wrinkles and not static wrinkles. At Aesthetics Medispa, Pune, we always explain to our patients the difference between static and dynamic wrinkles, before they decide to opt for a Botox treatment.
Dynamic wrinkles are those formed by facial movements, such as squinting (think crow’s feet), smiling (think smile lines) and furrowing of the brow (think forehead wrinkles and frown lines). Botox is a quick, safe and effective solution for these wrinkles.
Why Do Patients Opt For Botox Treatments?
The main reason why patients opt for Botox Treatments is its miraculous effect on wrinkles. The correct use of Botox immediately transforms the patient’s face into a young and wrinkle-free one!
Botox injections are well known for their relaxing and anti-ageing effect on wrinkles near the eyes, between the eyebrows and the most common frown lines. Tiny doses of Botox injections are effective and minimally invasive. Botox helps in eliminating the wrinkles frown lines and crow’s feet completely resulting in a well-rested rejuvenated look to the face.
Some of the off-license cosmetic uses of Botox are –
1. It can reduce an overly strong/prominent jaw angle. This helps in making the face appear slimmer and more oval.
2. It is also used to reduce a gummy smile and the drooping angle of the mouth.
3. Botox in small quantities is used in the Nefertiti neck lift, which lifts the neck and subtly makes it sharper.
4. Mesobotox is a technique wherein tiny amounts of Botox are injected into the skin of the face at fixed grid pattern intervals to brighten and freshen up the skin.
5. Bunny lines which appear on the nose on smiling can be eliminated by Botox.
Of course, we have discussed the cosmetic uses of Botox, now we would like to draw your attention to the other uses of Botox.
Botox is a great cure for:
Cervical dystonia – In this condition, the neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable position.
Lazy eye – The most common cause of lazy eye is an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eye.
Muscle contractures – Some neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can cause the limbs to pull in toward your centre. In such cases, these contracted muscles can be relaxed with Botox injections.
Hyperhidrosis – In this condition, excessive sweating occurs even when the temperature isn’t hot and the person isn’t exerting himself.
Chronic migraine – If the patient experiences migraines more than 15 days a month, Botox injections may help reduce headache frequency.
Bladder dysfunction – Botox injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.
Eye twitching – Botox injections may help relieve contraction or twitching of muscles around the eye.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Botox?
1. Anyone, a male or female adult who is physically fit.
2. Anyone who has noticed wrinkles forming on their face and wishes to treat them.
3. In the case of women, pregnant and women who are breastfeeding are not allowed to undergo this procedure.
4. A person who is allergic to any ingredient in the Botox formula should not opt for this treatment.
5. A person with a medical history of neurological conditions is not allowed to get a Botox treatment.
Please note, that your face at the time of the procedure needs to be free from any infection. In case you have a skin infection, your dermatologist will ask you to postpone the treatment until you are free from the infection.
Who Is The Right Doctor For Botox Treatments?
A Botox Treatment does not only affect the look or feel of your face but also your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, choose your doctor wisely.
Following are some pointers that might help you in your decision:
1. First of all, as per the Indian Medical Association, the qualifications of the doctor should include an M.D in Dermatology or M.Ch in Plastic Surgery to perform a Botox Treatment.
2. Experience is another factor that must be taken into consideration when choosing a doctor. The higher the number of years of experience, the easier it is to trust the surgeon.
3. Check what technology is available with the doctor and how well equipped his clinic is. If the doctor is using the latest technology then probably the results will be better and natural-looking.
4. Review the testimonials of past patients. Most patients post their reviews on social media pages or Google or even the website of the doctor. Go through them to understand the quality of his/her work and what the ultimate results look like.
5. The cost of botox in India could also play a major role in choosing the right doctor for you. Depending on the amount of money you are ready to spend, choose a surgeon who falls in your budget range.
6. A vital element that is often not listed, is your personal equation with the doctor. It is very important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon and trust his judgement and course of action. This comfort level is intangible and cannot be measured, but it does affect your choice and your ultimate happiness.
What To Ask Your Doctor During Your Consultation?
A one on one consultation with your doctor is the foundation for the Botox Treatment. We at Aesthetics Medispa believe that this consultation will help you as well as the doctor to figure out the treatment schedule and what you need.
During your consultation, you can discuss what you expect from the surgery and how the doctor is going to help you achieve it. A thorough meeting before the surgery reduces the chances of disappointment post-treatment since you and the doctor are both on the same page with the objectives.
Following are a few questions you can ask during the consultation:
1. Am I a fit candidate for this treatment?
2. What should I expect from this treatment?
3. What precautions should I take in the days leading up to the treatment?
4. What will be my average recovery time?
5. What care should I take to get optimum results from this treatment?
6. What steps will I need to take to maintain my face after the treatment?
7. Are there any risks and safety concerns that I need to be aware of?
8. What is the cost of botox treatment?
What Happens Before The Treatment?
The doctor will ask you to take some routine blood tests in the week before the treatment. He may also ask you to discontinue some of your regular medicines to avoid any conflicts with the injections. If you are a smoker then you will have to give up smoking in the few weeks leading up to the procedure.
What Happens During The Treatment?
Botulinum toxin is administered by diluting the powder in saline and injecting it directly into neuromuscular tissue. During the procedure, your doctor will use a thin needle to administer 3-5 injections of Botox. It takes 24-72 hours for botulinum toxin to take full effect.
The procedure is virtually painless and comfortable.
What To Expect Post-Treatment?
Your doctor will recommend icing the treatment area after the procedure. This will stop swelling and any pain you may experience.
Avoid rubbing, massaging, or applying any pressure to the treated area. These actions can cause the Botox to spread to other areas of the body. This can negatively affect your results.
Apart from this, there are no other precautions that need to be taken. The patient can resume their normal activities within hours of the treatment.
An important point, that most doctors do not mention is that Botox is not permanently effective. It is only temporary and if the patient wishes to have an anti-ageing effect, he/she will have to undergo this treatment in recurring cycles.
What Are The Risks Associated With Botox Treatment?
As with every medical procedure, there are certain risks associated with botox treatments too. Please note that the risks are low and rarely observed in patients. But as a patient, you need to be aware of the risks and safety issues that may arise due to this procedure.
Some of the possible risks due to botox injections are:
- Minor bruising or discomfort may occur but should improve within a few days.
- swelling or drooping in the eyelid area
- neck pain
- double vision
- dry eyes
- allergic reactions, such as rash, itching, or asthma symptoms
- Migration and paralysis of an unwanted muscle – In rare cases, Botox may migrate from the forehead, which is the site of the injection and may paralyse a muscle that helps in lifting the eyelid. This may lead to a temporary drooping of the eyelid. This is not permanent. The eyes recover completely within a span of 2 months. Similarly, if Botox is injected too close to the lip depressors when treating the muscles near the lops, then the lip muscles may remain drooping for some time.
In case you are uncomfortable or find your symptoms to be unbearable and aggravating, then immediately get in touch with your doctor.
What Is The Cost Of Botox Treatments In India?
The cost of this treatment depends on various factors such as:
- The location of the clinic
- The experience and reputation of the doctor
- The cost of the botox injectables
- Your unique case
Therefore, one cannot write down a ballpark figure for this surgery. The actual cost estimate will be given to you by your surgeon after your consultation.
Does Health Insurance Cover Botox Treatments?
Unfortunately, no health insurance covers this treatment because it is a cosmetic medical procedure.
Botox treatments are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the world. The effectiveness of this treatment has propelled more and more people to give it a try. Most patients are extremely satisfied with the results. Botox injections restore not only a patient’s youth but also their confidence in their looks and personality.
Dr.Ashish Davalbhakta is the Managing Director and Chief Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon at Aesthetics Medispa. He trained as a plastic surgeon to the highest level of qualifications and became board-certified in India. Having reached the top of his training in India, he went to the UK for further experience. He has done fellowships in Hand and Microsurgery, Breast aesthetic and reconstructive surgery and Cosmetic surgery in various centers including the world-renowned plastic surgery unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge, St. Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery, Chelmsford, The Royal Preston, Mt Vernon among others, acquiring his FRCS in 2000. He worked as a Consultant in the South Manchester University NHS Trust Hospital. He then gained experience in the US before returning back to India and started Aesthetics Medispa in 2009.