Associations report increased use of botox against wrinkles
More and more women seem to have problems with their natural aging process. While anti-wrinkle creams and lotions have enjoyed great popularity for a long time, there has been an increased use of botox against skin aging processes and wrinkle formation in recent years, report the German Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (DGÄPC) and the Society for Aesthetic Surgery (GÄCD).
Significant increase in botox treatments According to the experts, the number of botox injections has increased significantly in recent years. According to the DGÄPC, the proportion of corresponding botox treatments in cosmetic surgery has increased overall from 7.3 percent in 2010 to 11.7 percent in the course of 2011 so far. The Society for Aesthetic Surgery also confirmed this development. Many women seem to take the health risks of botox injections too lightly for cosmetic reasons. The desire for smooth, flawless skin apparently makes the impending side effects take a back seat.
Botox blocks signal transmission from nerve cells As Dirk Meyer-Rogge from the professional association of German dermatologists in Berlin told the news agency "dpa", the appearance of wrinkles and crow's feet on the face is due to our everyday facial expressions. Grinning, laughing and frowning will leave marks on your face in the long run, which many women would like to avoid given the current ideal of beauty of wrinkle-free skin. Ointments and creams have been used here for decades, but the injection of the botulinum toxin nerve poison also helps to remove traces of skin aging in the short term. The toxin is injected directly into the face and blocks the signal transmission from nerve cells to muscle cells. This paralyzes the facial muscle and since the skin can no longer contract, the wrinkles also disappear. After a botox injection, those affected appear with a relatively wrinkle-free skin for four to six months. However, the procedure must then be repeated to maintain the effect, explained Meyer-Rogge.
Nerve poison with possible side effects The expert from the professional association of German dermatologists explained that botulinum toxin had existed as a medicine for 50 years, although the neurotoxin was used in medicine primarily to treat cramps such as after a stroke. According to Meyer-Rogge, "the aesthetic application" only gradually emerged from medicine. "Since the first cosmetic surgery based on botox, these cosmetic surgery treatments have enjoyed a relatively great popularity, especially in the USA. But even here in Germany "the number of injections is increasing significantly," emphasized Meyer-Rogge. According to the experts, the side effects are neglected relatively often. Appropriate interventions should only be carried out by a qualified specialist, according to the current warning from the German Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Because botox can only be used to a very limited extent, even with medical indications, and special care is therefore advisable for purely cosmetic procedures. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) describes botulinum toxin as a highly effective substance, the medical application of which should be carried out by physicians with special experience.
Five Botox Deaths? Regarding the possible side effects of a botox injection, the experts at DGÄPC explain that since the first approval of botulinum toxin, around 210 reports of suspected cases of undesirable effects of various types and degrees of severity have been received, with five deaths also being recorded. However, the causal link between the death of the patients and the botox injection could not be established, the Federal Institute for Drugs explained. According to the institute, there are no reports of fatal side effects of botox injection for cosmetic purposes; the five previous deaths were all recorded when the neurotoxin was used under medical indication. However, the BfArM does not have any reports on the use of botox outside of the previously approved areas of application, so that serious or even fatal side effects were not recorded here. According to the experts, the possible risks of such an injection of the neurotoxin are obvious. For example, if Botox is injected in the wrong place or in too high a dose, serious side effects such as swelling of the face or serious breathing problems can occur. DGÄPC expert Regina Wagner, however, explained: "If you use the right dosage, use the right injection technology and know the right injection site, the risk is zero." Dermatologist Dirk Meyer-Rogge added that the use of botox from cosmetics Excellent anatomical knowledge is required in order not to paralyze the wrong muscle in the face and thus achieve undesirable side effects.
Botox with high costs despite natural alternatives According to the DGÄPC experts, a dermatologist or specialist in aesthetic or plastic surgery who is "a member of a specialist association for botulinum toxin" should best be consulted, according to the DGÄPC experts. Regina Wagner emphasized : "If you have found that, you are in good hands with this doctor", because such specialist societies ensure adequate training and qualification of the doctors through special courses and certifications. According to the experts, the price for a cosmetic botox treatment is between 250 and 500 euros per procedure, which represents a not inconsiderable financial outlay when there is a need for a six-month replacement. For the same price, those interested could also stock up on masses of anti-wrinkle creams, natural peels and tinctures from naturopathy, which in the long run have a similar effect against skin aging processes. The cost of botox injection should also be one of the reasons why treatment with the neurotoxin has so far not been considered for a majority of German women to treat their problem areas. As the market research company GfK found out on behalf of the “Apotheken Umschau” at the beginning of September, only a little more than one percent of German women have been treated with Botox to smooth their wrinkles. (fp)
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