Botox is the name given to the toxin that is produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. This toxin is considered poisonous when used in large amounts. The medical community, however, found a way to put it to good use despite its poisonous nature. They harnessed its paralytic characteristics. The toxin is injected in small and diluted amounts into specific muscles causing controlled weakness.
The FDA approved the use of Botox after it was discovered that the toxin could stop ailments like strabismus and cervical dystonia. Later on, the medical community started using Botox to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases before it got the FDA’s approval for treating frown lines between the eyebrows.
How does Botox work?
The toxin blocks signals from traversing between the nerves and muscles. Once it is injected into a muscle, it can no longer contract which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. This procedure is most often used on forehead lines and frown lines. It is important to note that wrinkles that were caused by sun damage will not respond to Botox treatment.
How is the Botox procedure performed?
The procedure only takes thirty to forty five minutes and no anaesthesia is required. The injection targets specific muscles and you’ll only endure minor discomfort. It takes two to six days before one can see the full effect of the procedure. Most medical practitioners will advise you to avoid alcohol for at least a week before the treatment.
The effects from Botox will last for six months maximum. This means that you will have to go for another procedure once muscle action returns to the area.
Are there side effects of Botox?
There are a few minor side effects to Botox. They include:
- Temporary bruising
- Headaches (very rare).
Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Botox. People who suffer from neurological diseases should also avoid Botox. It is important to consult a medical practitioner before undertaking the procedure.