What Is Botox Cosmetic?
Botox, or onabotulinumtoxinA, is used for three main purposes: muscle spasm control, severe underarm sweating and cosmetic improvement. In this article we concentrate on the third use, achieved with the product called Botox Cosmetic, which contains botulinum toxin type A (the active ingredient), human albumin (a protein found in human blood plasma) and sodium chloride.
How To Know if You Are a Candidate for Botox
In the United States, the FDA has approved Botox Cosmetic for people aged 18 to 65. But you shouldn't use it if you:
Are allergic to any ingredients in Botox or Botox Cosmetic.
Are allergic to another botulinum toxin brand (such as Myobloc, Xeomin or Dysport) or had any side effect from these products in the past.
Have a skin infection or other condition in the injection area.
Have ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome or another disease that affects your muscles or nerves.
Have breathing problems, such as asthma.
Have difficulty swallowing.
Have bleeding issues.
Plan to undergo surgery.
Have had facial surgery.
Have weakness in your forehead muscles.
Have drooping eyelids.
Are taking or have recently taken certain medications, vitamins or supplements (see below).
Is Botox Painful?
Any injection can hurt, but the needles used for Botox injections are very small, so pain is usually minimal. The area can be numbed with a topical anesthetic cream or cold pack 10-20 minutes before the injections are given, so you may not feel much pain, if any.
You may feel a little discomfort later, once the anesthetic cream has worn off. Other side effects are listed below.
The cost of Botox Cosmetic injections varies from one place to another and from one practitioner to another, so you'll need to ask your practitioner what he or she charges.
Some practitioners charge by the number of units injected. One vial of Botox Cosmetic contains 100 units. Advertised specials of $6-$7 per unit are not uncommon, while some practitioners may charge up to $10-$12 per unit.
Some practices charge by the "zone." For example, the frown lines would be one zone, the crow's feet another zone and the forehead yet another zone.
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