Botox is the most common brand name of the toxin Botulinum A. The bacteria Clostridium Botulinum has been around for ages. It is the common cause for food poisoning. This bacterium has the Botulinum Toxin A which is a neurotoxin. This means it can cause paralytic effects that are mostly fatal. The toxins attach themselves to the nerve endings. When this happens, the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is responsible for the contracting of muscles is not able to act. The muscles do not contract and remain paralyzed.
Wrinklerexia is a term where Botox devotees become so obsessed with their skin that they rush for a Botox treatment at every single line that emerges on their faces. At times, these lines are imagined too! Such people often have frozen and expressionless faces. A recent study suggests women who get Botox starting in their late 20s develop fewer wrinkles than women who age naturally.
This precise mode of action is used in cosmetic procedures. A small amount of the toxin is diluted and injected into the area which has to be 'lifted'. Mostly, the skin around the eyes, the eyebrows and lips are the ones that are the target areas of this treatment.
Once the tiny amount of toxin enters into the area, it severely weakens the muscles there. So they don't contract and sag. This gives a more youthful look to the person.
Botox is the latest trend among women who want to look young all the time. Brow furrowing, facial creases, age related wrinkles around eyes, lazy eye, blinking eye are the common instances where Botox has widespread use.
Botox procedures do not require the use of any anesthesia and are performed in a matter of minutes, which is why they are often termed as The Lunch-break Procedures. The needle used to inject the toxin is a very fine one so as to achieve the maximum accuracy and minimal bruising. The only requirement for the surgery is to stay off alcohol and certain blood-thinning medications like aspirin for a week before the surgery.
Botox has some side-effects too.
- Respiratory infection
- Flu syndrome
- Blepharoptosis or drooping of the upper eyelid
Botox is very much suited to the young people over 30 years of age. Such skin has the earliest signs of ageing seen at the temples and at the eye corners. There is not much sagging and muscle volume too is good. Hence Botox works best here.
At ages 40 and above, the face starts changing in structure, the fat from the cheeks decreases and laugh lines start appearing. In such cases Botox alone is insufficient and fillers and face-lift is needed.
Botox is becoming increasingly popular. So much so that you can get a Botox treatment within the office lunch-break or when you are out shopping for groceries.
In addition to cosmetic purposes, Botox has several medical uses too. Cervical dystonia, writer's cramp, excessive sweating, achalasia (an esophagus problem), chronic pain, neuropathy, and migraine headaches are the medical conditions that Botox can treat successfully.
In people with over-active bladders, Botox treatment greatly improves the quality of life, so say researchers from King's College London School of Medicine.
The role of Botox in treating depression is a new-found one. A report published in Dermatological Survey says that when depressed patients were treated with Botox for their furrowed brows, they also felt less depressed.
Thus Clostridium Botulinum, the food poisoning bacteria that has been around for ages has found a positive use for itself through its toxin only since 2002.