What is Botox?
Botox is a kind of neurotoxin obtained from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It works by impairing the transmission of impulses at the junctions from the nerves to the muscles. In other words, it produces a kind of temporary paralysis in the muscle fiber. This effect of botox is only observed in the muscles that cause muscles to move; it has no effect on nerves responsible for pain, touch and sensations of heat and cold. It does not cause a mask-like freezing of the face, and does not change the face or its expressions.
Under what circumstances is botox used?
It is used in eliminating facial wrinkles that develop with time and age. It is employed in eradicating crease lines between the eyebrows, vertical lines on the forehead, and the crow’s feet lines that radiate out from the corners of the eyes, in eliminating slight sagging of the eyebrows, and horizontal and vertical lines rings on the neck. It is used as a method of treatment of excessive sweating in the hands, feet and armpits (hyperhidrosis). Its function here is to reduce perspiration production by temporarily paralyzing the nerves to the secretion glands.
A 10-minute application relaxes the muscles that cause wrinkles for 4-6 months. It begins working in 3–7 days. Since it is an easy and quick procedure that does not require a healing process the patient can return to work and daily life immediately afterward.
How long does the effect of botox last?
From four to seven months. Then it needs to be repeated for the effect to be maintained.
Does it have any side-effects?
It has very few side-effects in knowledgeable and experienced hands. Very rarely, headache, or temporary drooping of the eyelid as a result of application to the wrong site may be seen. There may be a very slight reddening in the injection area, easily covered up by make-up.
When should botox not be performed?
Botox is not used in pregnancy, in systemic or local infections or in neuromuscular diseases (such as myasthenia gravis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
How long has botox been in use?
It was initially used in paralytic and spastic patients, and has been used for cosmetic purposes since 1987. In 1989 it was approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and began being used in patients with cross-eyes, blepharospasm and hemi-facial spasms. Cosmetic use was authorized by the FDA in 2002.