Botox is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum and related species. Clostridium botulinum is an organism found in the natural environment where it is largely inactive and non-toxic. The bacterium can also be found in the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish and in the gills and organs of crabs and other shellfish. Botulinum toxin is one of the most poisonous substances known to man. Botulinum toxin can result in botulism which is a severe life-threatening illness. Despite botulinum toxin being so toxic, Botox is in huge demand.
Uses of Botox
There are different types of botulinum toxin products with different uses. It can be used in eye problems, muscle stiffness/spasms, migraines, cosmetic and overactive bladder.
Botulinum toxin is used to treat certain eye disorders such as crossed eyes and uncontrolled blinking; the condition which is known as blepharospasm. It is also used to treat muscle stiffness or movement disorders and to reduce the cosmetic appearance of wrinkles. It is also used to prevent headaches in people with very frequent migraines. Botox treatment is useful in people who have overactive bladder problems. It helps to reduce leaking of urine, feeling of needing to urinate right away and frequent trips to the bathroom.
How Botox injections work?
Botulinum toxin relaxes muscle by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine. Botulinum toxin can be injected into humans in the form of injections. It should be injected in extremely small concentrations and it works by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles, therefore paralyzing them.
Botox injections in cosmetics
You may read about cosmetic surgeries in newspaper or magazines and you may hear that xyz celebrity has undergone cosmetic surgery to look good and fresh or younger from his/her age. What you don’t know is that Botox has being using in this treatment since 2002. Doctors have been using Botox to successfully treat wrinkles and facial creases. Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can’t contract. That makes the wrinkles relax and soften. Botox injections are commonly used on forehead lines, crow’s feet, frown lines, lip lines and for the chin and corner of the mouth and neck. The injections take about 10 minutes. Unlike other injections, Botox injections are less painful because the needles uses for this purpose are very thin and small. You would see improvement within a few days. The maximum effect usually occurs at about 10-14 days.
Is there any side effects?
Botox injections are relatively safe but possible side effects are Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site and it is the most common side effect. Headaches can also happen which end in 24 to 48 hours but this is rare. Some patients may develop eyelid drooping or cockeyed eyebrows and this usually ends within three weeks.
Although it’s very rare but if you feel any of these symptoms; Muscle weakness, Vision problems, Trouble speaking or swallowing, Breathing problems, Loss of bladder control, call your doctor right away because it is possible that toxin of the injection has spread into your body.
Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has vast expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions.
For further queries call on 815-412-6174