The commercial name for Botulinum toxin, Botox has become a household name. Everyone’s heard about it and most of knows know at least someone that has tried this fairly simple cosmetic procedure.
Originally used to treat involuntary muscle spasms or clinical conditions like strabismus due to its ability to block neuromuscular transmission. Also applied in cases of hyperhidrosis to control excessive underarm sweating and studies are being conducted for other problems like asthma and obesity.
However, these are not the reasons why Botox is so well known in today’s society. With but a localized injection without having to recur to surgery, it manages to erase moderate to sever lines and wrinkles such as crow’s feet and frown lines, as long as there isn’t any permanent scarring in those areas. This effect is not permanent and wears off from six weeks to six months, depending on the area and how much has been applied.
Although we’re talking about a toxin, controlled application of Botox has a very low degree of toxicity. But what about the side effects? Less careful administrations will cause bruising, there is a chance for an allergic reaction and in less fortunate incidences you might wind up with an uneven smile, lose the ability to close your eye or a drooping eyelid.
Nevertheless, it is the number one cosmetic operation performed in the United States of America, it’s relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of cosmetic surgery and is able to produce instant results giving more self-esteem to the patient and all the added comfort of cosmetic surgery during a lunch break that “lifts” the spirits. A physician has also claimed that by taking away frown lines (and therefore the ability to frown) his patients have grown happier and lost the ability to feel saddened and depressed.
Botox is widely hyped in the media, Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams) on Ugly Betty is seen having it administered to her on more than one episode by her assistant Marc St. James (Michael Urie) and giving him the leftover which he happily accepts.
Too much Botox may result in the loss of facial expression and all the particularities that make a face (and the person) unique and like everything in life, you can have too much of a good thing. The truth is that Botox is out there, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to disappear anytime soon.