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What Is Botox? An Ultimate Guide

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

How much do you know about botulinum toxin type A? Read our ultimate guide to get the answer to the question: what is botox?

Botox Treatment Ajax, Whitby, Toronto, Oshawa

You've probably heard of Botox, but how much do you know about botulinum toxin type A? Cosmetic procedures have been on the rise for the last five years. In 2018, almost 18 million people underwent some form of cosmetic surgery, with botox being one of the most popular.

Whether you're looking to banish pesky crow's feet or give yourself a complete makeover, you will need to do your research before you dive in. But what is Botox? And is it right for you?

Do you want to know more? Read on for everything you need to know about Botox.

What is Botox?

Botox is a brand of botulinum toxin type A. It is an injectable neuromodulator that relaxes nerve-muscle imbalance. Botox causes the muscles to stop moving, which means wrinkles stop forming.

Dysport and Xeomin are also brands of commercially available botulinum toxin used to improve the appearance of wrinkles. Each brand has a slightly different formulation. Botox can reduce frown lines between the eyebrows, lift the corners of the mouth, smooth out chins, and even soften lines around the mouth.

How Does Botox Work?

Botulinum toxin is a highly purified and concentrated neurotoxin that is safe to inject. As our faces contract daily, the muscles we use to squint and smile begin to form wrinkles in the overlying skin. Injecting botox into these areas temporarily stops the nerve signal from sending signals to relax the muscle.

Botox targets specific muscles to reduce facial wrinkling. Onobotulinum toxin A is a toxin produced by the same microbe that causes botulism. Botulism can cause food poisoning and muscle paralysis in large amounts. Each injection only contains a small amount of the toxin, so it is safe to use.

It is also used in various medical procedures to treat migraines, neurological conditions and heal scars.

Benefits of Botox

There are many benefits to receiving Botox treatments. Results can be visible after a single treatment. Patients can expect to see long-lasting results that can last for months on end.

Some of the major benefits of Botox include:

  • Temporarily reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles

  • Eases migraines

  • Treats specific eye conditions

  • Reducing facial redness

  • Non-invasive procedure

Botox is a quick and straightforward procedure and is available for patients who are 18 to 65 years old.

Types of Botulinum Toxin Injections

The main ingredient used in Botox comes from a naturally occurring protein produced by Clostridium Botulinum. These proteins cause the muscles to relax, which in very high doses can be dangerous.

There are many different variations of the botulinum toxin. Some of the most common are:

  • Botox

  • Xeomin

Each type has a slightly different formula, strength, and cost. Botox is a type A toxin and is the most popular of the four available. The FDA approved it for cosmetic use in the US and various other countries in the 1980s.

Xeomin (Bocouture)

Xeomin (also known as Bocouture) was FDA approved in 2010 and claims to be the most innovative type of botulinum toxin available. Over time, patients may develop a resistance to their Botox treatments. Patients who develop antibody resistance to Botox may receive underwhelming results from their treatment or have no results whatsoever.

Xeomin is a purer form of the botulinum toxin and can prevent antibody resistance to the treatment. As a cosmetic treatment, Xeomin is perfect for frown lines, crow's feet, and facial wrinkles.

Xeomin can also treat several medical conditions including excessive drooling and cervical dystonia (abnormal muscle contractions). Xeomin does not need to be refrigerated before use, which means it is a more environmentally friendly option.

Who Can Get Botox?

Botox is Health Canada approved and available for patients aged 18-65. Most practitioners will recommend receiving Botox injections during your 20s or 30s as a preventative measure. If you already have several fine lines or wrinkles, then receiving Botox injections can prevent them from getting any deeper.

If you can change expressions without any new lines forming then you probably don't need Botox. You should also not receive Botox injections if you are allergic to any of the ingredients (some of the proteins in Botox are similar to those found in eggs).

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a neurological disorder then you should not receive Botox treatments. If you are unsure whether or not you should be getting Botox, speak to your doctor before booking an appointment.

How Safe is Botox?

Botox was first approved in 1989 by the FDA then Health Canada for medical purposes. Since then it has been used in a variety of procedures to treat patients with chronic migraines, overactive bladders, and incontinence. It was then approved for cosmetic use in 2002 to treat frown lines and has been used for many other treatments since then.

Although botulinum toxin type A and type B can be lethal in large doses, Botox and other variants are safe in small doses for cosmetic use.

Botox Procedures

Botox is mostly used for cosmetic procedures involving the face. Some of the areas you can receive injections are:

  • Glabellar lines (between the eyebrows)

  • Crow's feet (around the eyes)

  • Forehead creases and wrinkles

  • Lip lines (smoker's lines, upper and lower lip)

  • Eyebrow lifts

  • Top of the nose (bunny lines)

Unlike fillers, Botox injections relax the muscles underneath the skin that cause fine lines and wrinkles. These treatments are perfect for preventing the signs of aging by creating a smooth, glowing complexion. Make sure you choose a professional and experienced Botox clinician who has received the relevant training to provide your treatment.

Botox Lip Flip

A lip flip is where a medical professional will use a small amount of Botox to make your upper lip look fuller. The lip flip is a quick procedure that can last up to 20 minutes. The patient receives an injection to their cupid's bow (upper lip) and corners of the mouth.

This procedure relaxes the muscles in your upper lip which causes the inside of the lip to flip upwards and out. This gives your lips a fuller appearance. The procedure is ideal for patients whose lips disappear when they smile or show too much gum.

How Much Will It Cost?

The price of Botox is calculated per unit. On average, Botox costs $10-$15 per unit. Depending on the individual, you could receive up to 40 units in one treatment.

Botox injections are usually paired with more than one site on the face at a time. For example, forehead injections will usually pair with glabellar lines or eyebrow injections. Overall, one treatment could cost you around $200-$500.

Some establishments may charge more for male patients as their facial muscles can be much stronger and need more units than a female patient.

How Long Does Botox Last?

On average, Botox will last around 3-4 months. Some patients will see results for up to 6 months and some for as few as 2 months. It is very common for your second treatment to last longer than your first.

Some of the reasons your Botox may wear off quickly are:

  • Physical activity (lots of exercise means lots of facial expressions!)

  • How often you have received treatments

  • How effective your metabolism is

  • Quality of the Botox

  • Illness

  • Stress

If you have any concerns about your Botox wearing off too quickly, speak to the clinic that provided your treatment. It is very important to find a clinic that is an established medical or cosmetic clinic.

How to Find a Botox Clinic

Finding a clinic that provides safe, professional services is essential if you want good results. You want to make sure that if something goes wrong you are in the hands of an experienced, qualified professional.

Choose a Qualified Professional

Injecting Botox is a procedure that should only be administered by a trained professional or doctor. The person giving you the treatment should hold the relevant qualifications and experience to carry out the procedure. You can check with your local regulatory authority to see if they are a registered professional and have undergone the required safety checks.

Board-certified dermatologists (skin specialists) and doctors are the safest options when booking Botox treatments. Dermatologists can advise you on skin problems and cosmetic concerns. If you are receiving Botox treatments for medical reasons such as neck spasms then you should consult a doctor.

Appropriate Premises

Although Botox treatments are mostly carried out by medical professionals in clinics, Botox has become popular in hair salons and department stores. Most of these premises are not adequately equipped for providing Botox and other aesthetic procedures. The best environments to receive Botox treatments are medical, and cosmetic clinics.

Ask for Before and After Shots

If you are unsure about a particular establishment, you can ask them to show you some of their before and after photos. These photos can help you decide if the clinic provides a high standard of treatment and if they are right for you. Most clinics will provide consultations for patients who are curious and would like to see the facilities before they book a treatment.

Check the Reviews and Testimonials

A reputable clinic will have outstanding reviews and testimonials from its patients. You may find that you receive recommendations through word of mouth. If a clinic is very successful, they may also have more than one establishment in your town or city.

Ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they know anyone who has had successful Botox treatments and who they received them from. Asking people you trust will increase your chances of receiving honest and reliable advice on where to book your treatment.

Medical Uses for Botox

Although Botox is for cosmetic treatments to soften the appearance of wrinkles, there are also lots of ways that doctors use it in the field of medicine. Botox can treat a variety of medical conditions in areas such as neurology and podiatry.

Sweating and Body Odor

Botox is an option for patients who suffer from chronic sweating or body odor known as hyperhidrosis. There are various treatments available for hyperhidrosis including medication and the "no-sweat machine". Botox has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on the underarms.

A weak form of botulinum toxin is injected into the underarms to block the chemical that stimulates the sweat glands. Patients can see results as soon as four or five days after they receive the injection. Once excessive sweating returns, the patient can receive the treatment again.

Acne and Other Skin Conditions

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes breakouts on the face and body. It is the most common during puberty, but can also happen at any age.

What Causes Acne?

Acne occurs when too much oil (sebum) is produced by the sebaceous glands and the hair follicles become blocked. This usually happens during puberty when increases levels of testosterone cause the glands to overproduce sebum.

Hormonal Triggers

Acne can be a result of a variety of triggers. In women, hormonal shifts that occur during periods and pregnancy can cause acne flare-ups. Women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome are also more likely to develop acne as an adult.

A hormonal imbalance could be the cause of your adult acne. A hormonal imbalance occurs when there are too many or too few of a particular set of hormones present in your body. The most effective way to balance your hormones is by using a combination of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and providing your body with adequate nutrients.

Bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as our own hormones. They can help restore hormone levels and improve unpleasant symptoms.

If you suspect your acne may be due to a hormonal imbalance, contact a specialist to see what treatments are available. Various lifestyle factors can affect hormonal balance, such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, and stress. Acne can also be hereditary and if your parents had it, then you will most likely get it too.

Hair and Skin Care Products

Hair-care products can clog the pores (especially around the forehead) which can trap bacteria in your pores. If you have bangs, this can also spread hair products across your face and make acne worse. If you apply hair products, keep them away from your hairline and use a cleanser at the end of the day to remove any products from your skin.

Using too many or incorrect skincare products can also contribute to acne. Adding new products to your skincare routine or changing products regularly can cause irritation and breakouts. It is best to select one or two products and wait four to six weeks to see how your skin reacts before changing anything.

To avoid acne-causing bacteria, make sure you cleanse your face at the end of the day and clean your makeup brushes every week. Use specially formulated skin care products that are free from parabens, perfumes, and harsh chemicals to prevent irritation and dryness, which can make acne worse.


A diet that is high in processed foods and refined carbohydrates can cause acne. Foods such as white bread, white rice, potato chips, and sugary drinks all raise the body's blood sugar levels, which can make acne worse. Scientists found that patients who were on a low-glycemic diet had less acne with 91% saying they needed less acne medication.

Cow's milk is also thought to be a contributor to acne breakouts. Though the exact cause is unknown, all types of cow's milk have links to acne.

Botox Injections for Acne

Botox can help patients who suffer from severe forms of acne or acne scarring. Botox can help prevent breakouts by helping to reduce excessive oil (sebum) production on your face. A study revealed that 85% of acne patients experienced fewer breakouts and reduced oil production after receiving botulinum toxin injections.

Botox injections are also an optional treatment for eczema (atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis. Although it has proven effective for some, it is important to explore other medications with your doctor first before trying Botox.

It is also possible to get a live blood analysis to find out the cause of a patient's acne. This can help to identify any nutrient deficiencies, gut dysbiosis, or infections that may be contributing to poor health and skin. Obtaining this information can help your doctor decide which type of medication or treatment is right for you.

Skin Tightening and Lift Procedures

When you book your Botox treatment, you may find that you are interested in skin tightening and lift procedures too.

Laser Therapy

The most common method of skin tightening is laser therapy, which involves tightening the skin by using lasers. The laser heats the skin, which causes the collagen in the skin to constrict and appear firmer. Although laser therapy is not painful, it may cause some discomfort as the heat is applied to the skin.

Common areas for laser tightening are:

  • Neck

  • Face

  • Jawline

This treatment is best suited to patients who are 18-65 years of age who have sagging skin. This procedure can cost between $150-$350 per session. For the best results, 6-8 sessions are recommended with a month between treatments.

Radiofrequency Treatments

Radiofrequency treatments can be used to tighten and lift the skin. These types of treatments use a device that emits radio waves to the skin to restore lost collagen. One treatment is usually enough but most patients require multiple sessions to see results.

Ultrasound Therapy (Ultherapy)

Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that can lift and tighten the neck, chin, and brow area. It uses the unique properties of ultrasound to stimulate collagen production in the skin's foundation. Its unique properties allow the device to bypass the skin's surface and treat depths that other similar devices cannot reach.

Laser treatments that rely on light energy cannot reach this same depth and are therefore not as effective as Ultherapy. Ultherapy is FDA approved, Gold standard, and Health Canada approved. It has also been used in the medical field for over 50 years.

Book Your Consultation Today

What is Botox and is it right for you? Botox can be beneficial to a wide range of people, whether it is for medical purposes or cosmetic use. By choosing an experienced and professional practitioner to administer your treatment, you will ensure that your experience is safe and successful.

If you are interested in finding out more about cosmetic procedures that could change your life for the better, why not check out Be Youthful Co.? Their team of qualified medical professionals is on hand to help you discover the perfect treatment to suit your needs. Contact them today to book a consultation 289 660 2761

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