Botox: A Closer Look by Christy Hayes

Christy-640x377-300x176Botox, botulinum toxin, has captivated the interest of researchers and scientists worldwide.  This highly toxic substance is used for both medical and cosmetic purposes.  Botox was first identified in 1895 by a Belgium professor. In the 1950s, it was discovered that botulinum toxin, when injected into an overly-active muscle, temporarily reduced that muscle’s activity.  Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing specific muscles or by blocking certain nerves. 

The medical uses of Botox: 

  • Migraines – It is used as a temporary treatment for migraine headaches.  Botox is injected inter-muscular and blocks a chemical known as acetylcholine.
  • Eye Disorders- Botox has been used to treat Strabismus (crossed eyes) and eye muscle spasms when you have uncontrolled blinking known as Blepharospasm.
  • Excessive sweating – The botulinum toxin can be injected into your palms or underarms. This will block the chemicals that turn on your sweat glands.
  • Overactive bladder – if patients have severe side effects to the oral medications most commonly used to treat overactive bladder, the botulinum toxin can be used. It will help mitigate the feeling of urgency and frequency to urinate while also reducing the amount of leakage.

Botox Cosmetic is used for aesthetic reasons to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows.  There will be a noticeable difference in the severity of the lines within 3-4 days and the effects will last for several months. 

There are possible side effects from Botox injections: pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache, upset stomach, or difficulties swallowing, speaking or breathing.

Botox is one of the most widely researched medicines worldwide.  It is likely that there will be even more medical purposes discovered for this substance in years to come.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.




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