The botulinum toxin is a substance that you probably already know, but not by this name. One of the things we get from it is Botox, the substance used in cosmetic surgery procedures to reduce wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Although the botulinum toxin is also used for other medical treatments and purposes, cosmetic surgery is surely the most common and fastest growing. Since its introduction in the 1980s it has only gotten more popular, and this popularity is showing no signs of ‘ageing’ anytime soon. Why is Botox becoming better known and more widely used even after all these years? We take a look at some recent ideas.
The origin of Botox
Botox is most famously used on the face, and most people associate the procedure with reducing facial wrinkles. It has been noted for its ability to quickly reduce wrinkles in appearance, and the effects last for up to two months, after which the procedure can be safely repeated as a ‘top up’ procedure. This works by relaxing certain facial muscles, which gradually regain traction hence the need for a top up.
One of the reasons for the continuing growth of Botox is that it has new applications going beyond the face. Australian press recently reported a record number of men going in for Botox and facelift treatments (and we should add that the growing number of male customers of course has contributed to the surge of Botox), but they are not all going for facial treatment. In many cases, Botox can be used for more personal areas of the male body, used to make the sexual organs appear younger, and this accounts for many Australian male cosmetic procedures.
Criticism over the Botox treatment
Australia overtook the USA as the largest plastic surgery country recently, and this reflects part of a general increased interest. Botox in particular has flown up 800% since the year 2000 thanks to the simple nature of the procedure. It is thought that celebrity icons such as the Kardashians, regulars of cosmetic surgery, have spurred its popularity through large communication platforms such as Instagram. However, there has also been criticism of the growth of Botox. A recent New York Times article reports that Botox may damage our ability to read and express emotions facially. A main concern in this area is that customers of Botox are getting younger, and getting ‘prejuvenation’ procedures to fight ageing before it happens. This kind of critical perspective does not seem to have slowed the popularity of the procedure, however.
Whether it is younger and more diverse customers or market competition that drives it, the Botox industry is growing worldwide. The medical and plastic surgery tourism industry has also contributed here, as more clients fly to cities in central and Eastern Europe to get affordable procedures. This is where some of the cheapest prices can be found without compromising on quality. Whilst Botox is more available than ever before, it is still important to check out how safe it is in your own case, so remember to consult your doctor before any procedure.
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