Is Botox and It’s Risks Necessary to Look Youthful?
Jill, a patient of mine, is a Caucasian woman in her mid-thirties. Upon assessment, she had moderate wrinkling with static wrinkles that remained etched into her skin even when she wasn’t performing facial expressions. Her major concerns were that she wanted these deep lines and wrinkles gone.
The Fountain of Youth
During her skincare consultation, she wanted to know how to sustain “the fountain of youth without looking like the Kardashians”. This made me think about the aging process. In today’s society we are bombarded by the media’s movie stars who look picture perfect in tabloids and magazines. This causes pressure on us to achieve external beauty in ways that aren’t really achievable. So I ponder, is a procedure like Botox necessary to look youthful and are the risks worth taking?
We are all getting older. We chronologically and environmentally age. It’s inevitable. Some people seem to age more gracefully while other people look far older than their actual age. Everywhere you look there is some type of lotion, potion, or procedure to help you appear five, ten, or even twenty years younger. Botox is the most popular of all the anti-aging procedures on the market today. Botox Cosmetic (Onabotulinum Toxin A) is a purified protein, otherwise known as a toxin. It is injected into the facial muscles to prevent muscular contraction thereby preventing wrinkling that occurs with age. Who wants to look sixty years old at age forty? This product has yet to have any competitors and appears to be the only solution that is used internally to stop external aging.
Having worked in a plastic surgery practice, I have had the experience of witnessing the fears and joys of patients injected with Botox. Most patients are concerned with who is administering the procedure, the cost thereof, and if it’s permanent. The FDA requires a certified nurse or doctor to inject the Botox. It is administered by the unit, and can cost from seven to fifteen dollars per unit. On average, a person will need twenty one to forty units for a full correction. Depending on how many units are needed for the desired look, it can become costly. But with today’s economy, Allergan, the maker of Botox, has provided a reimbursement program to help make it affordable. Rebates can be consumed of up to 100 dollars per treatment depending on the number of units that are injected. Metabolized by the body, Botox generally kicks in within seven days and can last as long as three to six months.
Do the risks outweigh the outcome?
Some of the concerning possible side effects include swelling, rash, bruising, respiratory problems, allergic reaction, impaired vision, droopy eye, and in some cases if administered incorrectly, even death. Botox often gets its bad press in movies and media. Priscilla Presley is a very good representation of this. She demonstrates the “frozen face” look. She cannot make any facial expressions on the upper part of the face, except for opening and closing her eyes. If patients undergo the same treatment, they may experience the same facial characteristics as Priscilla Presley.
Although, the possible side effects of Botox are severe and there are no guarantees, patients continue to take the risks, making Botox the number one plastic surgery procedure in the world. Baby boomers are reaping the most benefits from Botox because they are addressing their wrinkles at an earlier age; therefore, they are preventing themselves from ever becoming a facelift candidate. Over time, if you continue to get Botox, the muscles atrophy causing less wrinkling.
In the world of cosmetics and plastic surgery, you have to give a written consent upon receiving any type of cosmetic procedure. Therefore, you may have to overcome both the positive and negative effects of Botox. After continually seeing the effects of Botox, my client, Jill and many other patients have to make an important decision. So I ponder, do you overlook the risks involved with this anti-aging procedure and partake of the “fountain of youth”?