By now almost everyone has heard of the miraculous powers of Botox in keeping skin from showing the effects of aging. But is it really as wonderful as its proponents claim? And most important of all, is it safe?
Botox is actually a shorthand name for Botulism, a fatal toxin that is most commonly found in canned food. When ingested, even in microscopic amounts (one microgram), it becomes fatal to humans. So how can such a pernicious toxin be used successfully and safely to treat wrinkles? Because Botulism causes paralysis, the toxin can be injected into the muscles surrounding wrinkled areas which blocks nerve endings telling muscles to contract. This leads to a weakening of facial muscles which smoothes or even eliminates unwanted wrinkles. The results can last up to six months. However is it safe to have a deadly toxin injected into your face, mere inches away from the brain? While botox injections can have mild side effects ranging from redness and pain at the injection site to nausea, initial research has shown no instances of the toxin traveling throughout the body and causing an serious internal damage. However, if you are considering Botox, it is very important that you find a certified professional to administer the injections to prevent any unnecessary risk.
While the idea of injecting a deadly toxin into one’s face might still seem too far-fetched for many, this method of age control is far less expensive and painful than other forms of anti-aging cosmetic procedures on the market today such as the face lift or the chemical peel. The con is that the results are much more temporary (3-6 months for Botox as opposed to 5-10 years for a face lift). This, along with all medical procedures, should be carefully weighed and discussed with your doctor.