Binging on Botox: The After Effects

Binging on Botox: The After Effects

Nowadays, the pressure of having smooth, glowing, and picture-perfect skin is more prevalent than ever. With the influence of social media, many people are invested in upkeeping and maintaining their looks. In addition to that, influencers and celebrities often sport unrealistic, and oftentimes photoshopped, smooth, perfect skin, which creates a higher demand for a product that helps us achieve celebrity-status skin. Since being approved for cosmetic use in 2002, Botox has become a multi-billion dollar industry. 

From a general perspective, botox has many attractive attributes, such as how quickly and effectively it is able to smooth out wrinkles and result in a more youthful appearance, its accessibility, and credential status from celebrities. In addition, it is injectable, making it much less intrusive than cosmetic surgery. As the use of botox has become normalized, younger people are beginning to flock to their dermatologists’ office in hopes of starting early on botox use to prevent sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles, with 20% of botox users being in their 30s. What was once thought of as an age reverser is now being used to maintain looks before wrinkles even begin to form, which explains why so many people are starting at a young age, however this can do more damage than good in the long run. 

Before we can begin to discuss the lasting effects of botox, let's get into what it actually is and how it works. Botox is made up of botulinum toxin, which is a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. When injected, botulinum toxin acts as a neurotoxin and works to block the release of the nerve where it meets the muscle, thus preventing the muscle from contracting. Because of this signal blockage, the muscle becomes temporarily paralysed and weakens from lack of use. Instead of “erasing” wrinkles, botox actually “freezes” the underlying muscles from contracting, thus disabling the face from moving in such a way that deepens the wrinkles. Botox injections last anywhere from 3-6 months and the average cost per session is $500-$1,000, and because the smoothing effects wear off, most people choose to maintain their botox treatments every few months.

While undergoing botox is a personal decision, it's important to know the long term effects that could occur before it's too late, especially because botox is such a long term investment. Since the use of botox for a prolonged period of time is relatively new, research on long term efficacy and safety is limited. However there are many case studies in which some long term effects have been studied. Some side effects of botox include:

1. Muscles will Weaken, eventually atrophying from lack of use:

Because botox paralyzes the targeted muscles, the muscles don't have to work to maintain themselves anymore, and they will eventually atrophy from lack of use. 

2. Skin will become visibly thinner:

This is mostly the case for people that have been injected with botox for a long period of time, often starting at a young age. As your skin thins out, the unwanted appearance of subdermal veins may appear, while also giving the appearance of heavy eyelids. 

3. Skin Discoloration:

Many botox users have reported skin discoloration from botox. Because botox works underneath the skin, it is possible that it may damage outer layer capillaries, which could lead to permanent discoloration. 

In a research study, 45 participants who received regular botox treatments were observed over the course of 12 years. 20 side effect were reported including:

  • Difficulty swallowing 

  • Drooping eyelids

  • Neck weakness

  • Nausea 

  • Blurred vision 

  • Difficulty chewing 

  • Hoarseness 

  • Difficulty speaking 

Botox is a short term solution that may have lasting and undesirable long term effects. The skin should be treated for long term care to ensure it stays glowing, nourished, hydrated, and moisturized while all the essentials of the skin are supplied. These essentials include peptides, vitamins, ceramides and other emollients. Our Natural revitalizer renews cells and gives the user a long lasting and healthy alternative to toxic stimulants that may result in irreversible side effects.

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