Botox, the costs and side effects. Is it for you?

Botulinum toxin, usually known as Botox, is injected into a muscle to "temporarily paralyze" it and prevent it from contracting. It can last for a period of 4 to 6 months. It is one of the most naturally occurring poisonous substances in the world and therefore has side effects.

The amount of the actual agent used in cosmetic procedures is minute and side effects are rare when in the hands of experienced physicians. Since its introduction in the early 80's the cost has become a lot more affordable. Advertisements are everywhere in clinics, spas, and home parties. Even though it is relatively inexpensive compared to surgery, make sure you think about the long term investment.

With a cosmetic surgeon you may pay more for the area treated but you may achieve better results. With an uneducated technician you may may experience too much. If you know anyone who has had this happen, you know exactly what I mean. They may have gotten a lot of Botox for their money but their face no longer moves and they have a constant "look of surprise."

If you are with someone experienced, and are liking the results, you should expect about 3-4 treatments a year. A spa may charge you $100 up to $250 with a cosmetic surgeon. Is this in your budget? After years of this, might a face lift have been more cost effective? But again, surgery comes with it's own set of risks as well so it is something to consider.

If the person performing your injections has a lot of knowledge of the facial muscle structure and experience in performing the injections you are more likely to get a good result. Ask to see photos of previous clients.

Side Effects

  • Bruising at injection site.
  • Paralysis of the wrong muscle group. Without good knowledge of facial muscle structure, this sometimes happens.
  • Double vision.
  • Allergic reaction
  • Unwanted facial expression such as drooping eyelid, uneven smile, loss of ability to close one eye. Might be great for Halloween.
  • Headaches
  • Focal facial paralysis
  • Flu like symptoms

Other uses for Botox

  • Back Pain
  • Migraine and headaches
  • Crossed eyes
  • Hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Breast lifts