Choose Between Two Options
- $100 for 20 units of Botox ($200 value)
- $195 for 40 units of Botox ($400 value)
Botox may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening, including problem swallowing, speaking, or breathing. Read all safety considerations for Botox here.
Botox: A Toxin Transformed
Though they come from a lethal bacteria, the toxins in Botox won’t infect you. Bolster your knowledge of beauty injections with this Groupon guide.
It’s common knowledge that the wrinkle-smoothing serum Botox Cosmetic is derived from the same toxin that causes botulism, a sometimes life-threatening illness. Luckily for patients, multiple factors separate the drug from the bug.
First of all, the toxins in Botox Cosmetic have been carefully purified to eliminate any trace of Clostridium botulinum—the bacterium that actually causes botulism. And almost all of the nefarious tools it leaves behind have been disabled, too—the manufacturing process removes six of the seven neurotoxins the bacteria secretes. That leaves only botulinum toxin A, whose chemical mechanisms for paralyzing muscles are well known. Working with a single toxin not only cuts down the risk, but has also helped the original developers fine-tune Botox’s effects.
Another factor that differentiates Botox is how it’s administered. During a botulism infection, bacteria and toxins circulate freely through the bloodstream like guests at the world’s most disgusting networking event, with potential to affect all of the body’s systems. Botox Cosmetic, however, is injected locally, into a specific muscle, and does not enter the circulatory system. Besides contributing to safety, proper injection is also key to a natural-looking aesthetic result. To refine their technique, some medical professionals even use an electromyography machine, which can help them detect areas of particularly high muscular activity in the face.
Technicians can also control the effects of Botox by adjusting dosage. Almost all cosmetic procedures use less than 1/175th of a lethal dose of botulinum toxin A—about 3,500 units for a 154-pound human. Amounts may also be adjusted based on the size of the muscle and its proximity to delicate areas such as the lips and eyes. For instance, doctors administer an average of 17.3 units of toxin when injecting the forehead, but use an average of only 6.2 units on crow’s-feet, which are closer to the muscles of the eye.