Botox has gained wide popularity in the medical and cosmetic industry. However, not many individuals know how it works directly on the body. When used correctly, the drug manipulates the muscles by weakening or paralyzing them to treat conditions, like chronic migraine, excessive underarm sweating, overactive bladder, depression, crossed eye, abnormal heartbeat (not FDA approved), premature ejaculation (not FDA approved), to mention a few.
When administered in small doses, it rejuvenates the skin by getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles. But what is Botox? This is a protein that stems from the Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium – Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism. As such, a certified surgeon must be in charge of administering the drug for medical and cosmetic applications.
It is worth noting that it is FDA-approved (the Food and Drug Administration) for treating several medical conditions, most of which are listed above.
A Breakdown of Botox
As discussed before, Botox stems from C. botulinum bacteria, found in the environment and not limited to places, like lakes, forests, and even in the intestinal tracts of land and aquatic animals. This bacterium is harmless in its natural state.
However, it becomes fatal when the spores evolve as there is a spike in cell multiplication. The result of this process is the production of Botulinum toxin. This toxin is harmful to the human body. In actuality, one gram of the crystalline form of this toxin could kill one million individuals.
Scientists go further to state that a few kilograms of the toxin can eliminate everyone on earth. Hence, a professional surgeon should be in charge of administering the Botox drug. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology notes that in therapy and medicine, Botox is safe, and has few adverse effects.
Understanding the Commercial Production of Botox
Botox companies produce the drug in small doses of Botulinum toxin. Since it manipulates the muscle, it can be used to treat muscle and nerve disorders. Here is a list of the produced Botox:
*Abobotulinumtoxin A (Dysport)
*Onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox)
*Prabotulinumtoxin A (Jeuveau)
*Rimabotulinumtoxin B (Myobloc)
*Incobotulinumtoxin A (Xeomin)
These products are referred to as Botox. When applied, they target the neurological system. The muscles receive nerve signals to create contractions. As such, fine lines and wrinkles are difficult to eradicate due to muscle movements. However, with Botox, the cosmetic surgeon can immobilize the muscle tissues, to ensure a smooth treatment.
The injection inhibits acetylcholine production, a chemical responsible for linking the nerve endings with the muscle cell receptors, creating contraction. With the presence of the toxin, the muscle becomes extremely relaxed, making it possible to carry out procedures.
Cosmetic Application of Botox
According to the large populace’s opinion, beauty is attached to youthful looks devoid of facial mars, like wrinkles and fine lines. However, no one stays young forever. As age and other factors come into play, the body begins to wear down aesthetically. But with Botox, people can slow down such processes.
How popular is this drug? According to the American Board of Surgery Treatment, more than 7 million individuals had Botox treatments in 2016. Treatment effects can last from 3 to 12 months, depending on the area of treatment. There are specific areas Botox focuses on, including:
*Frown lines/elevens/glabellar lines – the wrinkles between the eyebrows.
*Crow’s feet – the wrinkles around the eyes.
*Lines found in the corners of the mouth.
*Cobblestone-like skin found on the chin.
It is worth noting that the FDA approves using Botox to treat conditions on the forehead and around the eyes. However, there is no confirmation that it can be used to improve dark circles located under the lower lash line.
That is not the only application of this drug. It can be used to improve hair appearance. But like the previous claim on dark circle treatment, there is no medical backing to support its effectiveness on the human hair.
Medical Application of Botox
Botox plays an essential role in the medical field. Doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare experts use the drug to treat many medical conditions, most of which interrupts the neuromuscular system.
Most of the medical treatments are FDA approved, but strictly for patients 18 years or older, otherwise stated. FDA approved treatments focus on:
*Strabismus, also known as crossed eyes. This treatment is for individuals aged 12 years and older.
*Upper limb spasticity, applicable to individuals above 2 years.
*Prevention of migraine in individuals with such symptoms lasting more than 4 hours on 15 days, or more a month.
*Treatment of hyperhidrosis. This condition refers to sweating in the underarms.
*Treatment of blepharospasm resulting from dystonia. It is also known as eyelid spasms.
There are off-label treatments. These applications are not FDA approved. However, people still use the drug for the following applications:
*Psoriasis – a skin condition that causes the skin cells to multiply abnormally.
*Sialorrhea – the excessive secretion of saliva.
*Alopecia – a condition that causes the hair to fall off excessively.
*Vulvodynia – this is a condition based on pain and discomfort in the vagina.
*Anismus – a dysfunction of the anal muscle.
*Achalasia – a throat condition that makes swallowing difficult.
*Dyshidrotic eczema – this is a condition that affects the palms and soles of the feet.
*Keloids and scars stemming from wound healing.
*Blistering lesions. This skin condition stems from a rare genetic disorder known as Hailey-Hailey disease.
*Hidradenitis suppurativa. This is an inflammatory skin disease.
*Face redness or flushing caused by menopause.
Intensive research may be needed to examine the effectiveness of Botox in treating off-label conditions. And even at that, scientists have to come up with ways to administer the drug in treating such conditions.
Botox Treatment Procedure
To administer Botox injection into the affected muscles, a clinician dilutes the Botulinum toxin powder in saline. Once done, the profession injects it into the neuromuscular tissue. The treatment takes anywhere between 24 hours and 72 hours. During this period, the toxin becomes effective as the latter part of the procedure continues.
Kindly note that it takes up to five days for the full effect to be visible. The treatment result can last from 3 to 12 months before the patient decides to have a touch-up. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not to undergo Botox procedures. It also applies to individuals that are allergic to such treatments or the constituents used in making the drug.
Botox treatment is ideal for individuals who wish to make aesthetic changes to their faces or undergo medical treatment. It provides durable solutions to ageing as well.