Botox: Another Shot at Looking Young

If you've had a Botox injection, you've probably noticed your face restored to a youthful appearance. Botox injections are common, but do you know the Botox injection treatment facts? In this article, we cover the facts about having a Botox injection and will give you the Botox injection treatment facts you need to know before scheduling a Botox injection for you.

A smile has laughingly been referred to as an inexpensive way to improve one's looks. But now the smile, usually known for exuding cheerfulness, is getting attention, too, for its devilish side effect: Over the years — and together with its displeased conspirator, the frown — a smile can leave behind age-revealing facial lines.

To join the ranks of facelifts and skin resurfacing, enter an unlikely face-saver: botulinum toxin. It can cause botulism, a sometimes-deadly form of food poisoning, but injected into the facial muscles in its diluted, purified form called botox, it can restore the face to a youthful appearance of years gone by.

Botox: A Four-Month Fix

First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1990 for treating eye muscle spasms, botox showed its cosmetic potential almost immediately, when patients with their eye on ophthalmologic gains noticed their wrinkles softening. The toxin that could block nerve impulses to temporarily paralyze certain misfiring eye muscles, it turned out, could also be directed to disable those muscles that form "crow's feet" around the eyes, wrinkle lines on the forehead and frown lines between the eyebrows.

Ten years after it initially hit the market, botox is one of the most popular cosmetic medical procedure in the United States; almost 800,000 Americans got the injections in 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

With California-based Allergan Inc. expecting approval of botox for cosmetic use shortly, the ASPS predicts that the product's popularity "could increase exponentially."

Botox can iron out wrinkles earned over years of facial movements, such as smiling and frowning, concentrating and squinting. In addition to the most popular complaints — furrows between the eyebrows, crow's feet and forehead lines — women in particular get botox injections to correct some imperfections of their lips and necks. Recently, botox has found yet another use: a "chemical brow lift" to restore the arch to falling eyebrows. (Outside the cosmetic sphere, botox is used not only for muscle control, but also to treat migraine headaches and other types of pain and to eliminate excessive sweating, or "hyperhydrosis.")