All About Botox

All About Botox

Botox Explained
Is Botox Right for You?
Getting a Botox injection can be cosmetic solution for eliminating wrinkles or a medical solution for treating conditions ranging from chronic migraine headaches to bladder leakage. Still, that does not mean it is the right procedure for everyone.

Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should avoid getting any Botox injections. Botox can also produce allergic reactions in some patients, causing symptoms such as hives and rashes following an injection.

Your dermatologist or skin care professional can perform an exam to determine if you are a good candidate for Botox injections. Contact them immediately to see if Botox will work for you.

Botox is not simply a beauty treatment reserved for movie stars. It has many medical applications from eliminating wrinkles to reducing migraine headaches. Botox works by relaxing specific muscles or nerves as a treatment for specific medical conditions.

Small doses of Botox are extracted from Clostridium botulinum. In larger amounts, this naturally occurring bacteria can be quite poisonous and even fatal. This toxin is the root cause of botulism, which is typically associated with severe cases of food poisoning. When it is limited to small doses, however, the paralysis caused by Botox can be quite beneficial.

How Does Botox Work?

Botox was first approved for medical use in the 1980s. It works by blocking signals from nerves to muscles. Once injected with Botox, the muscle becomes temporarily paralyzed. The injections smooth out wrinkles and creases in surrounding areas where they are administered.

Combating wrinkles is the most common reason for Botox usage. Botox injections eliminate wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and on the forehead. Getting an injection only takes a few minutes and it does not require any anesthesia.

Botox injections do not work right away. It takes anywhere from three to seven days for the Botox to take full effect on the targeted muscles. Once Botox is used, it remains effective for up to 12 months depending on what it is treating.

Minor side effects usually accompany a Botox injection. Patients may feel some discomfort at the site of the injection. Pain, swelling, or bruising can occur. Occasionally, a headache or upset stomach may follow an injection. Facial injections can sometimes cause drooping eyelids. Most of these side effects are mild and vanish within a few days.

Do not consume any alcohol for at least one week before undergoing any Botox treatments. Stop taking aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks prior to getting a Botox injection. These medications can increase chances for bruising occurring around the injection area.

Uses for Botox

Wrinkles are not the only problem Botox injections can solve. Botox originally gained government approval when medical research uncovered it could treat visual ailments ranging from uncontrollable blinking to lazy eye. Since that time, Botox has been proven highly effective in treating many other ailments, including:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Overactive bladder
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Excessive underarm sweating

Always consult your skin care professional to get the facts about Botox and to learn how it can work for you.

Sources:

U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Botox.” 2013.

Mayo Clinic. “Botox Injections.” 2014.