Botox is a common procedure in the field of cosmetology to reduce various facial lines and wrinkles but the effect is temporary. It’s also used to treat diseases such as blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking), strabismus (lazy/baggy eyes) and other facial muscular conditions. The name “Botox” is taken from its chemical compound which is diluted botulinum toxin.
Fully active or highly fortified chemical can cause food poisoning but diluted form is harmless for muscles and gives a youthful appearance. As the chemical substance is dangerous, only trained physicians and dermatologists are allowed to administer the injection so as to manage side-effects if any!
Botulinum toxin A is what gives the name Botox which is a purified preparation. Clostridium botulinum, bacteria produces six different categories of the toxin however most of the research has been conducted on type A. If over dosed, it causes botulism which is a medical term for muscular paralysis and a specific type of food poisoning.
The compound itself is a strong neurotoxin! In 1981, Dr. Alan B. Scott published the first case study of this chemical in the Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society Journal. His research concluded that using purified solution cure paralysis of eye muscles in humans and also effective against strabismus but only if injected in small amounts.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved botulinum in 1989 that evolved Botox. From 2002 onwards, it’s a globally accepted cosmetology procedure to cure moderate to severe frown lines in individuals between 18 and 65 years.
How it works
The neurotoxin when vaccinated in small proportion into the muscle interrupts nerve signal transmission. As a result, surrounding tissue degenerates temporarily and aren’t able to contract; overlying skin beneath the tissue is flattened which gives the smoothing effect to fine lines, forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet as well. It must be noted that lines cause by the sun exposure are incurable through Botox.
Severe skin and facial deformation due to various causes may require drastic plastic surgery instead of Botox. All these surgeries are more or less risky including the anaesthesia given to the patient but not with Botox as the chemical is injected into the muscle using a thin needle. The result would start appearing within a week after initial procedure but it’s temporary. Improvement only lasts for least three to six months.
Side effects & preventive measures
Not all but side effects in a few patients after Botox treatment were mild bruising, sharp pain around the treated area, flu-like symptoms, nausea and inflammation. Headaches may develop but only for 24 to 48 hours. Sagging of the eyelids and other facial muscles is possible and usually occurs when patients rub or massage the injection point.