Botox is a toxin produced by the, Clostriduim botulinum. The bacteria is responsible for rare type of food poisoning called botulism. The toxin effects the central nervous system and in sufficient quantity, causes paralysis which can result in death. This type of bacteria are usually found in canned foods.
Through experiments, scientists discovered that the diluted toxin could cause paralysis of a muscle when it was directly injected into the muscle tissue. In very small dosages, it will cause weakening of the muscle, rather than total paralysis.
During the late 1980s, Botox, which is a trademark of Allergan, Inc., was approved by the FDA for treatment of medical conditions which caused muscles spasms, like dystonia, strabismus (crossed eyes) and spasmodic torticollis. It proved a safe and effective treatment for these conditions.
The FDA approved Botox for cosmetic treatment of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyes in 2002. It is currently used to treat other facial areas, including the forehead and lines at the outer corners of the eyes. Botox causes the underlying muscle to relax, smoothing the facial skin and lessening the appearance of wrinkles.
Anti Aging Injections
Since Botox works by weakening muscle response, it is not appropriate for use on all areas of the face. Treatment with Botox is usually limited to the muscles of the forehead and areas at the inner and outer corners of the eyes. Use in other areas of the face can restrict facial expressions and function. Other, more appropriate treatments are recommended for the lower portion of the face.
Botox injections cannot improve the appearance of sun damaged or leathery skin, and cannot be used to treat sagging skin. Botox injections do not effect the appearance of the skin.
As a rule, Botox injections are not covered by medical insurance. In cases where it is being used to treat a medical condition, it may be covered. Generally, patients will have to pay for the injections themselves.
The latest available figures from 2007, indicate that the average cost of a Botox injection was about $500. If a patient has more than one area treated, the cost may be higher. Prices vary by geographical location and by individual practitioner. There are no additional costs associated with Botox treatments.
Alcohol should be avoided for a minimum of one week prior to your treatment. Use of anti-inflammatory medications should be discontinued at least two weeks prior to treatment. If you are not sure if a medication is an anti-inflammatory agent, ask your doctor. Avoiding these substances will reduce bruising following your treatment.
No anesthesia is required for this treatment. You may feel some mild discomfort. The entire treatment takes only minutes and you may return to your normal daily activities immediately.
A fine gauge hypodermic syringe is used to inject Botox into specific muscles. 'The number of injections will depend on your desired results.
The area should not be rubbed or massaged for at least twelve hours following the procedure. You should not lie down for three to four hours after your treatment. This prevents the Botox from migrating to other areas.
Some patients may notice results immediately, but it usually takes several days for the full effect of the treatment to become apparent.
Side Effects and Complications
Bruising around the injection sites is the most commonly reported side effect of Botox. Rarely, some patients have reported headaches which subside within 24 to 48 hours of the procedure.
Complications of Botox treatment are extremely rare and usually temporary. One reported complication is eyelid drooping. This is thought to be caused by the migration of the Botox from a treated area. The drooping is temporary and usually disappears within three weeks.