All about Botox
Botox is the notable drug for the toxins generated by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. When taken in large amounts, the said toxin may be the cause of botulism which is closely related to food poisoning. Although paralysis is the most serious complication that may be brought about by botulism, scientists have formulated ways as to how the said toxin may be beneficiary for humans.
The application of small concentration of the Botox, which is done through injection in specific muscled areas, controls the weakening of the muscles.
This was approved in the latter part of 1980’s by the FDA. The discovery of the Botox was found to be an aid for some ailments like the uncontrolled blinking, which is known as the blepharospasm and the lazy eye which is also called strabismus. It is also well documented that most cosmetologist has been using Botox for many years proving that it can successfully treat skin conditions like wrinkles and facial creases (“Skin Conditions: Botox Cosmetic Treatment,” 2008). The injection of Botox relaxes the facial muscles that form and cause wrinkles so that they appear less noticeable.
However, Botox injection does not last long. The use of Botox among adults whose age ranges from 18 to 65 was approved by the Food and Drug Administration only that it should be used as a temporary treatment for cases of average to extreme frown lines found amidst the eyebrows, otherwise known as glabellar lines. In some cases Botox can also be employed as a treatment for other wrinkles found in the face, including the lines that extend from the eye corner known as crow’s-feet and the forehead furrow.
Also, aside from being a treatment for wrinkles, it was also found out that Botox are used for the treatment of other health conditions such as black eyes, headaches, problems of the eye muscle, spasms in the muscles, as well a condition called hyperhidrosis which is characterized by excessive sweating (Botox Injections, 2008). Botox works in a way that it serves as a blockage for the nerve signals going towards the muscles. This avoids the muscles injected with Botox to contract, which, in turn, softens and relaxes the wrinkles.
The Botox procedure only takes a few minutes, and there is no anesthesia involved. A fine needle is used to inject the Botox in particular muscle areas with only little discomfort (“Skin Conditions: Botox Cosmetic Treatment,” 2008). The number of injections needed to be applied depends on various factors which may include the features of a person’s face, the degree of the wrinkling, as well as the area that is being treated. Usually, the crow’s feet condition is required to have at least two to three injections, while the forehead furrow may require at least five or more injections.
The whole procedure takes full effect within three to seven days, and it does not call for any downtime, which means that the person who underwent a Botox treatment may immediately return his or her daily activities (Botox injection, 2008). One week prior to the treatment, a person who wishes to undergo Botox treatment is required to avoid alcohol, while medications such anti-inflammatory and aspirins are required to be stopped two weeks prior to the treatment period so as to reduce the bruising after the process.
The Botox injection has effects that only last for four to six months. By the time the action in the muscles moderately returns, it is more likely that the wrinkles will re-appear as well and another treatment should be done. However, unlike the first occurrence of the lines and the wrinkles, by the time the effect of the Botox fades away, the appearance of the lines and the wrinkles become less severe because Botox trains the muscles to relax (“Skin Conditions: Botox Cosmetic Treatment,” 2008).
After the Botox procedure, it is expected that a patient would have a headache, but the treated area should not be rubbed or massaged so as to avoid the migration of toxins in other areas of the face. If the toxins migrate to another area of the face, this may result in temporary weakness of the face, or it its possible that the patient’s face may droop (Botox injection, 2008). It may seem that, after undergoing Botox treatment, the face appears good from a distance, especially for people who are advocates of beauty.
However, it is still a medical fact that Botox is a poison, and it is a procedure that may be beneficial for one but dangerous for another (Williams, 2008). Although in practice, some of the fatal effects may be rare which are often attributed to the doctor’s skills or to the specific area to be treated, the effects of Botox are not always positive. Hence, it is highly important to know its side effects before one accepts the treatment. The general effects of Botox are dizziness, skin rash, tiredness, muscles spasms, numbness, weakness all over, drowsiness, dryness of the mouth, stiffness, headache, and flu-like syndrome.
For specific areas that were treated such as the eye area, there could be a drooping of the upper eyelid, drooping brow, mild inflammation of the eyes’ surface, difficulty in closing the eye, overflow of tears, dryness of the eye, and sensitivity to light. There are some cases that such effects may be encountered: eye surface inflammation, eversion or turning out of the eyelid, turning in or inversion of the eyelid, double vision, facial weakness, drooping of the face, and blurred vision.
Effects such as swelling of the eyelids, development of ulcers on the eye surface, as well as glaucoma which is characterized with the increase of the eye pressure, are said to be the effects of Botox that are extremely rare (“Side Effects and Dangers of Botox,” 2006). Not all people are fit to undergo the Botox procedure. Because of the risks involved with Botox, the biggest problem that a person may have is that rather than looking beautiful and younger, as this is the goal of a person who wishes to undergo the procedure, it is most likely that an individual may end up looking older (“Botox,” 2008).
Also, some people cannot undergo the procedure due to their condition, especially pregnant patients, mothers who are breastfeeding, and people who are suffering from neurological diseases such as peripheral motor neuropathic disease or meuromuscular functional disorders (“Side Effects and Dangers of Botox,” 2006). However, it was reported that botulinum toxins are applied to some cases of cerebral palsy as a way to control the spasms of the limbs even though this kind of treatment was not authorized by the food and drug administration.
Several investigations by the FDA was documented that the occurrence of several deaths which involve children who were treated for spasms of the leg and some cases of illnesses were accounted for the usage of Botox by the said people to aid certain conditions. It was also discovered that the use of the toxins for cosmetic treatments may result in the spread of the drug to other areas of the body that may affect the muscles for breathing and swallowing. This may have serious implications which may be fatal (Keenan, 2008).
In general, Botox may bring about certain effects that depend on the capability of the doctor who will perform the procedure and the person who will undergo the treatment. Botox may be beneficial for many, but it is still highly important to have knowledge on the underlying negative effects that are overshadowed by its benefit. Although there are rare reports on the fatalities brought by Botox procedure, it is still proven that botulism is to take the blame. This should be taken into consideration before engaging in the procedure.
Furthermore, it is suggested that comprehensive studies should be made in order to clarify some points that were not discussed in the study, because the results that were framed in are limited in some areas. References Possible botox risks. (2008). Linkroll. Retrieved August 4, 2008 from http://www. linkroll. com/botox/possible-botox-risks. php. Botox injections. (2008). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 4, 2008 from http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/botox/MY00078 Keenan, S. (2008, February 9). The dangers of botox treatments. eNews 2. 0.
Retrieved August 4, 2008 from http://www. enews20. com/news_The_Dangers_of_Botox_Treatments_05715. html Side effects & dangers of botox. (2006). Essential Botox Resources. Retrieved August 4, 2008 from http://essential-botox-resources. com/side. html Skin conditions: Botox cosmetic treatment. (2008). Web MD. Retrieved August 4, 2008 from http://www. webmd. com/skin-beauty/botox. Williams, Z. (2008, February 4). We all know that botox is stupid. Now it looks as if it can kill. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved August 4, 2008 from