There is great news for all the women out there worried about getting wrinkles as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved Botox to treat forehead lines. Previously, the only approved cosmetic uses for Botox in the United States were for treating frown lines and crow’s feet, but this latest move by the FDA means that there is a now a safe and effective option for women concerned about the sudden appearance of lines or wrinkles on their forehead due to aging.
What is Botox?
Botox is the name given to a chemical compound derived from the neurotoxin botulinum toxin. Although this neurotoxin is actually the deadliest toxin known to man—just a single gram of botulinum toxin is enough to kill more than 1 million people - it also has a surprising number of medical benefits.
Botox injections are frequently used to provide relief from muscle spasms, help patients suffering from excessive sweating and treat various eye problems such as crossed eyes and uncontrolled blinking. The chemical is also used to treat people with urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder and is frequently used to prevent headaches in migraine sufferers.
Nonetheless, the most common and most well-known use for Botox is still cosmetic—to help reduce or eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How Does Botox Help to Treat Wrinkles?
In the United States, Botox is the most performed cosmetic procedure. In fact, statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that of the 14 million minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2015, nearly half of these were Botox injections used to treat wrinkles. The reason why Botox has become such a common procedure has to do with both the fairly low cost of the procedure and also its effectiveness.
When botulinum toxin is injected into the skin, the neurotoxin works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles. In cosmetic procedures, an extremely small concentration of the toxin is injected just below the skin, which then prevents signals from the nerve cells from reaching the muscles. The Botox works by preventing the release of a chemical messenger that causes the muscles to contract.
As a result, the toxin causes the muscles to become less stiff, which helps to tighten the skin and thus reduce the appearance of forehead lines, crow’s feet, frown lines and other wrinkles. According to Cosmos Clinic, most people begin to notice results and see a reduction in their wrinkles within three to five days after their Botox injection, and the results usually last for around three to four months.
What Does the New FDA Ruling Mean?
The new FDA ruling is great news for women in the United States, but as of yet, it probably doesn’t mean much for people elsewhere in the world. There are already a number of countries where Botox was already approved to treat forehead lines in addition to frown lines and crow’s feet.
However, there are also numerous countries where the treatment has not yet received approval, and this is where the recent FDA ruling could potentially have an effect. Now that the FDA has finally decided that Botox is safe to use for this purpose, it is likely that other countries may eventually follow suit. Should this happen, it could possibly mean an even greater increase in Botox procedures around the globe and potentially an almost entire population of wrinkle-free older people.
For people in the United States, the ruling does mean that you can now legally get Botox injections to treat forehead lines. Moreover, it also means that you can feel completely safe and confident in the procedure.
The FDA is notoriously fickle about approving new medical treatments and will only ever do so when it has actually been proven safe. In this sense, the new ruling probably provides the greatest benefit to women who were considering Botox to help reduce their forehead lines, but were always too worried about the safety or efficacy of the treatment.
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