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What is Botox?

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 What is Botox?

You have probably heard the term Botox in relation to the cosmetic industry and in particular to the injections that soften the appearance of wrinkles. However, Botox has many other uses apart from helping us to look younger. In fact, it is an important neurotoxic protein employed in a number of different medical procedures.


Botox is just one of the commercial names for the botulinum toxin, a purified protein and neurotoxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. Other brands derived from this toxin include Myobloc, Xeomin and Vistabel.


How is Botox Used?


The range of ways Botox can be used is numerous, often providing a solution to common medical problems. Some of the less widely known benefits of the drug include treatment for:


Migraines “ Injections of Botox can be used as a preventative measure against severe migraines, a treatment available on the NHS. Although its effectiveness against chronic headaches has been questioned by some, Botox offers a safe, quick and easy approach to relieving the condition.


Excessive Sweating “ Otherwise known as hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating can blight many people's lives. Injections of the botulinum toxin will block neural control of the sweat glands, effectively stopping your brain from sending these signals to where the treatment is applied. This is most commonly the armpits but also the hands, feet and face.


Upper Motor Neuron Syndrome “ Muscles affected by upper motor neuron syndrome are weaker than usual, have decreased movement control and also have a reduced ability to efficiently lengthen. By injecting Botox into the affected muscles, it will give the recipient an increased level of control over their movement.


Cosmetics “ Of course, the most well-known use of Botox is within the cosmetic industry and in particular for people who wish to defy the process of aging. In technical terms, the injected toxin will block transmitters between the motor nerves which transmit to the muscles. When this happens, the muscle is relaxed and so cannot contract properly. The result is a lesser chance of wrinkles and smoother skin.


The most commonly injected areas on the face are the forehead, between the eyes and around the corners of the eyes. The effects will start to materialize between 3 and 10 days after the treatment is applied, where wrinkles will begin to soften and the face start to radiate.  Botox remains popular, and in many cases addictive, as further treatment will be required approximately 3 to 4 months after the first series of injections.


There are possible side-effects associated with Botox so it is best to take the advice of a doctor or skin specialist before going ahead with the treatment. Bruising is one of these effects but this is relatively normal and should pass in a short amount of time.


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