Botox 101

We all know someone who’s had Botox and come back looking like they just spent a month in a spa drinking collagen. At a glance, Botox seems like an incredible and immediate solution to fine lines and wrinkles, and with over six million Botox injections administered each year, it’s also one of the most popular cosmetic treatments out there. However, despite being tried and tested for over 20 years, there remains a ton of myths and misinformation about Botox, including the procedure and the risks. We’re here to put the rumors to rest and answer all your burning question about Botox with help from an expert. Here’re 15 things you need to know about Botox.

What is Botox?

It sounds way worse than it is, but Botox comes from a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. A product of this nasty, natural forming bacterium is the Botulinum toxin, which is used in small doses to make things like forehead wrinkles disappear. Yep, super glamorous. Although it comes from rather gruesome origins, Botox (when handled by a trained professional) can alleviate a load of cosmetic and medical issues, from wrinkles to decreasing excessive sweating and reducing a ‘gummy’ smile.

How Do Botox Injections Work?

“For a muscle to move, a nerve has to release a signal called a neurotransmitter that signals the muscle. Botox depletes that neurotransmitter thereby inhibiting the muscle from moving,” Dr. Lily Talakoub of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center told us. By blocking local nerve impulses to specific muscles within your face, albeit temporarily, Botox prevents you from having full control of your facial expressions, and therefore the wrinkles that come with it.

Where Can You Get Botox Injections?

In the cosmetics world, Botox is most commonly used to treat, prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by relaxing the muscles. Key areas for injection as specified by the FDA are your forehead, crow’s feet around the eyes, and between the eyebrows. However, Dr. Talakoub also says she uses it to “soften neck lines, chin lines, to flip the lip up, to decrease lines around the mouth, jaw, and lift up the corners of the mouth. I also use it to thin the face, and to stop sweating under the arms, the hands, and feet.”

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