Botox: when is it indicated and who can do it? Does it have a side effect?

Many people seek anti-aging treatments. There are many ways to prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but when these signs of age have already appeared, preventive measures are not usually sufficient – use of creams or serums, for example.

In this case, aesthetic procedures performed by specialists are necessary. Currently, we already have access to many options, aimed at different purposes (combating spots, wrinkles, lines, marks, etc.).

Among so many alternatives, botox still stands out and is performed by many men and women. Thinking about it, we separated some information about this procedure, check it out:

What is Botox?

Botox is made from a substance called Botulinum Toxin A , which is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum . This is also responsible for causing botulism – a condition in which generalized muscle paralysis occurs, due to the ingestion of high doses of the toxin.

As for aesthetic purposes, botox is used in order to minimize and eliminate some signs of age. The procedure is done through the application of botulinum toxin in strategic areas of the face.

The substance is injected (with the help of very fine needles) directly into the muscles where the paralysis is desired. In general, it is done in areas such as the forehead, corner of the eyes (where the “crow’s feet” are) and between the eyebrows.

With this, it leaves the skin with a more stretched and rejuvenated appearance, without marks.

This technique must be performed by a trained professional. Currently, in Brazil, biomedicine, nursing, medicine and dentistry professionals are able to work with botox.

In general, the application of botulinum toxin is very fast (about 15 minutes) and safe, as long as the necessary evaluations are made. Its effects are not lifelong, so it is necessary to reapply between 4 to 6 months.

Finally, it should be noted that in addition to its use for aesthetic purposes, botox can also be useful in the treatment of disorders such as hyperhidrosis. That is, when the person suffers from excessive sweating in certain areas of the body.

What is Complete Botox?

As its name suggests, Complete (or global) Botox is a procedure that includes the application of botulinum toxin in several or all parts of the facial region. Therefore, it can cover the forehead, eye area and glabella (space between the eyebrows).

The specifications as to what this package includes may vary depending on the professional or clinic. In some cases, for example, the person can choose whether to make this complete application on the face or to divide the doses.

That is, pay the full package price and apply at different times but in the same region. With that, it can be done according to the needs of each one.

Therefore, when done in several areas at the same time, the purpose of this procedure is to provide a more rejuvenated appearance as a whole and not only to alleviate signs of age in isolation.

Botulinum toxin: what is the effect of botox on the face?

When botulinum toxin is applied, when it enters the body, it already binds to the receptors of neurons responsible for muscle movement. Then, after about an hour, the toxin passes through the nerve endings and enters the cytoplasm (essential cell structure).

Upon entering this segment, the substance “seeks” the cellular structure responsible for the release of acetylcholine – the neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contractions. Finally, from chemical reactions, the release of this neurotransmitter is interrupted.

When this happens, the muscle is at a standstill and no longer contracts. This is what gives the appearance of stretched skin.

Therefore, the effect of botox on the face is unmarked skin. This includes lines and wrinkles , even static ones, those that appear even without any movement.

It is worth mentioning that the muscle paralysis is temporary, that is, the application of botox is not lifelong and needs to be redone after a certain period of time.

How long does the effect of botox on the face last?

As mentioned, when botulinum toxin enters the body, some processes and chemical reactions occur that allow it to stop the release of acetylcholine. That is, it paralyzes the action of the neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contractions.

However, when the body realizes that it cannot move the region where the botox was applied, it begins to show reactions. Approximately 10 days after the application, new nerve terminals begin to appear in order to reestablish the movement of the muscles.

Therefore, from that moment on, acetylcholine is released again. However, it is worth noting that these new ramifications begin to function fully only after 4 months of their appearance.

After this period, the muscle moves again as before and the botox stops taking effect. Therefore, in general, professionals indicate that the duration of this procedure is 4 to 6 months .

Botox: what is it for? Who can do it?

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, botulinum toxin is indicated to soften expression lines and deep wrinkles. This includes regions such as:

  • Forehead (head);
  • Crow’s feet (expression lines in the corner of the eyes);
  • Glabella (between the eyebrows);
  • Lower facial contour (points in the neck region).

Besides serving to attenuate the signs of age, it can also be applied in order to reposition the eyebrows (making them more arched). In this case, the amount of botulinum toxin is lower, aiming only to weaken the muscle and not to paralyze completely.

That’s because the muscle that raises the eyebrows (as well as the smile line) is necessary for facial expressions and even for eating. So that it cannot suffer major interference.

As for the age indicated for the application of botox, in general it can be done from 25 or 30 years old, age at which the first signs of age usually appear. Thus, the procedure can help prevent the formation of skin wrinkles and deeper signs of expression.

However, it is worth mentioning that it is necessary to undergo a previous evaluation to find out if the treatment is indicated for you or not – other types of care may be recommended.

Is Botox indicated for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)?

In some cases, yes . Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes abnormal and excessive sweating, reaching regions such as the palms, feet, armpits, face, breasts, scalp or other parts of the body with many sweat glands.

Among the treatment options is the application of highly diluted injections of botulinum toxin.

The substance is injected into the skin in the area affected by hyperhidrosis. As a result, the sweat glands are responsible for causing excessive sweating.

Typically, a single session provides months of relief. The indicated frequency varies according to each case and according to the medical indication, but it usually tends to have a maximum of 2 applications per year.

What are the benefits of botox?

As mentioned in the previous topic, botox is mainly indicated to attenuate and eliminate the signs of age, but it can also be recommended in cases of health problems – such as hyperhidrosis.

In this sense, the following factors can be highlighted as benefits of botox:

  • Minimizes the effects of hyperactivity of the facial muscles – responsible for the appearance of dynamic wrinkles (caused by facial movements);
  • It gives the face a more youthful appearance and relieves the air of tiredness;
  • Prevents the appearance of signs of age;
  • Smoothes expression lines and wrinkles;
  • It makes it possible to temporarily modify anatomical structures of the face – such as the arching of the eyebrows and to soften the presence of the gum when smiling.

Thus, both when botox is used for aesthetic purposes as mentioned and in cases that are indicated to treat hyperhidrosis, it directly contributes to the patient’s self-esteem and even the quality of life.

How is botox applied?

The application of botox is done with the aid of an injection, containing a small amount of the botulinum toxin. The procedure is done in an office and, in general, is almost painless and well tolerated by patients – the duration can vary between 10 and 15 minutes.

It should be noted that, previously, the professional makes the points marking for the application of the substance. This step requires a small analysis in order to choose the correct location and provide more satisfactory results.

The distance is approximately 1.5 cm between each point where the injection will be performed.

For more sensitive people who may be afraid of the pain of the procedure, it is worth remembering that prior to the injections, a topical anesthetic is applied to ensure more comfort.

Another common part of the whole process of performing botox is that the patient is always asked to return after 15 days. This is done so that it is possible to analyze how the result is and whether touch-ups are necessary.

What can’t you do after applying botox?

It is common that after performing an aesthetic procedure some care is necessary, especially invasive ones such as the application of botulinum toxin (botox). In this case, recommendations can be made, for example, avoid massaging and / or squeezing the region and not exposing yourself to the sun for up to 10 days.

In addition to these precautions, the professional may also indicate that you:

  • Avoid practicing physical exercises for 2 days after applying botox – since sudden movements can cause the toxin to “migrate” to other muscles, in which the effect is not desired;
  • Avoid air travel immediately after the procedure – the change in pressure caused on the flights can also cause the toxin to migrate to unwanted areas;
  • Avoid lying down in the first 4 hours after performing botox – only if you have applied it to areas made up of small muscles, such as the eye area in the treatment of “crow’s feet”.

It is very important to talk to the specialist first and pay close attention to the recommendations of post botox care. Thus, possible adverse reactions are avoided and a better result of the procedure is guaranteed.

Reactions after applying botox

Even with all the necessary care, it is quite common for some people to have mild reactions after the application of botox. In this sense, they can present:

  • Redness and swelling around the application points – lasts around 5 hours;
  • Headaches or pain at the points where botox was injected – usually disappears within the first 24 hours;
  • Small bruises at the points of application – in general, it occurs when there is a compromise of small blood vessels close to the muscle to which the toxin was applied.

In addition, it should be noted that hematomas also tend to appear in people who use drugs such as Aspirin or similar medication.

This reinforces the need to inform the professional about the use of any medication before performing the procedure.

Contraindications: who cannot apply botox?

As with any procedure that involves ingesting or applying a certain substance, botox is contraindicated for people who are allergic or hypersensitive to botulinum toxin.

It should also not be performed by pregnant or lactating women. In addition to being contraindicated to people with autoimmune , neuromuscular diseases (such as muscular dystrophy, myopathy, etc.) or blood clotting disorders (coagulopathies).

It should be noted that the contraindication also applies to people who use anticoagulants, aminoglycosides (such as Gentamicin , Amikacin, etc.) and / or medications that interfere with neuromuscular transmission.

Harm: what are the risks of botox?

Any chemical substance not common to our organism, when applied or ingested, can present risks. In the case of the application of botox, in general, when it is performed correctly and in the ideal doses, it does not usually present any complication to the patient (not even in the long term).

There are risks of infection or inflammation due to botulinum toxin, but it is small and rare. In particular, considering the fact that very low concentrations of the substance must be administered.

However, if applied improperly in order to reach the wrong muscles or if used in large quantities, it can cause paralysis in other parts of the body. In addition, another risk is that the patient suffers from botulism – which is quite rare, but it can happen.

It is a disease caused by the bacteria from which botox is made, that is, botulinum toxin. This condition can paralyze the muscles and cause difficulties in swallowing.

In severe cases, it can trigger respiratory problems and even cause the heart (the largest muscle in the human body) to lose its elasticity.

But it must be made clear that this is only likely to occur if very high doses of the substance are applied or if an illegal product is used.

For this reason, it is essential to seek a reliable professional and make sure that the material used is certified by ANVISA (National Health Surveillance Agency).

What are the long-term effects of botox?

As mentioned in the previous topic, botox is not risky even if used in the long term. In addition, all the effects of this procedure are temporary and reversible.

In order to maintain the effect provided by the use of botulinum toxin, it is necessary to perform a new application approximately every 6 months, once that period has passed, the muscles will return to normal functioning.

Some people also have doubts about whether continued use of the substance can cause permanent paralysis or loss of facial expression. The answer is no .

Therefore, it can be concluded that there are no long-term effects of using botox. It is a procedure that, when done correctly, provides the desired effects only for the anticipated time (maximum of 6 months) and does not cause complications.

Is it carcinogenic?

No . There is a lot of research involving botulinum toxin, however, none of them points out that this substance can increase the risks or be associated with the appearance of cancer .

Fortunately, botox is considered safe and does not usually present health risks. When complications occur, in a rare or isolated way, they are associated with some sensitivity of the patient or mild reactions that can commonly manifest (headaches, bruises, etc.).

These can be easily treated and / or reversed, being of very low risk.

It is worth mentioning that the association of cancer and botulinum toxin has no scientific evidence, however, this applies to substances properly regulated as safe. In other words, the same cannot be said about illegal products.

Thus, the need to seek serious and committed professionals is reinforced not only with aesthetic results but with the patient’s health and well-being.

Which (professional) specialist can apply botox?

The application of botox must always be performed by a trained professional with training in such a procedure. However, more than that, legal regulations and authorization from the council of a certain class are required – such as the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), for example.

Therefore, in Brazil, currently the specialists who can apply botox are:

  • Dermatologist doctors;
  • Biomedical;
  • Dentists;
  • Nurses – as a way of helping the doctor.

It is worth noting that there may be restrictions on the performance of each professional, which varies according to what is provided for in the class resolution. In addition, the need for training to perform the procedure (s) with botulinum toxin is reinforced.

Price and where to do it?

As mentioned, different professionals can apply botox. However, in general, the procedure is always performed in clinics and offices – it can be done in a hospital environment when it comes to health, as in cases of hyperhidrosis.

As for the price of this therapy, it can vary according to the specialist and also according to your location, since there are cities in which it can be more expensive than others. Factor that is linked to issues such as costs related to structure and material, for example.

In addition, the product brand and the quantity used also affect the final price.

In general, the value can vary between R $ 600 to R $ 2000 (one session), according to the factors listed. This usually includes the application of botox and consultations, both initial and possible returns (for retouching or in case of complications).

Botox and filling: what’s the difference?

There are many procedures that aim to minimize the signs of age. Among these, we highlight botox and filling. Although very common, some doubts may arise as to the difference between them.

First, it is important to know that they are not the same techniques . Therefore, they are not used in the same way, although they have the same objective: to reduce the marks of age. Therefore, one does not replace the other.

According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), botulinum toxin is used to treat wrinkles and expression lines caused by the movement of facial muscles, they are called “dynamic wrinkles”.

Thus, this substance is applied directly to the muscles in order to provide relaxation and make the skin appear more “stretched” and free of marks.

In contrast, the filling is done with hyaluronic acid. The procedure aims at the correction of fine wrinkles, dark circles, furrows (Chinese mustache) and the return of facial volume lost by age – such as on the lips, depressions of the face, etc.

Another important difference is in the duration time, while the botox needs to be touched up every 6 months, the filling can last up to 2 years.

Finally, it should be noted that both are processes made from the injection of substances made by a trained professional.


Seeking care or aesthetic procedures in order to improve self-esteem is no mistake or problem. On the contrary, prioritizing our well-being is very important!

However, always remember to do this responsibly and knowing exactly what the whole process involves. Searching for information prevents you from being disappointed with the results or suffering from possible complications.

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