Did you know Botox is, in fact, a toxin? Or that it has other uses besides cosmetic purposes?
In this article, we will explain what Botox injection is, how it works, what it’s used for, and discuss any side effects.
What is Botox?
Botox is the name given to botulinum toxin in cosmetic applications. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum under low-oxygen or no oxygen environment.
Botulinum toxin attacks the body’s nerves and causes botulism, a rare and sometimes fatal disease characterized by muscle paralysis and shortness of breath.
We will refer to the toxin as Botox here on out, but note this includes all of the formulations:
- Botox, Vistabel, Botox cosmetic (OnabotulinumtoxinA)
- Dysport (AbobotulinumtoxinA)
- Bocouture, Xeomin (IncobotulinumtoxinA)
- Myobloc (RimabotulinumtoxinB)
Things that can be treated using Botox
Although Botox is one of the most lethal substances known, scientists have continually discovered ways to use it to human advantage.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Botox for the treatment of:
- Blepharospasm and other eye muscle problems
- Moderate to severe frown lines on the forehead
- Crow’s feet (wrinkles around the corners of the eyes)
- Primary axillary hyperhidrosis (severe underarm sweating)
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
- Lower limb spasticity
How does Botox work?
Botox works by blocking nerve signals from reaching muscles, hence paralyzing them.
The prevention of facial muscle contraction improves the appearance of wrinkles between the eyebrows and around the eyes. Not to mention, slows the formation of new ones.
How long does Botox last?
Botox injections usually take effect 1-3 days after being administered. The effect from Botox injection will typically lasts from 3-6 months.You will require regular Botox top-ups to maintain the results.
Cost of having a Botox injection
Botox treatment is generally priced per unit. The average cost per unit is about $10 to $15. The recommended dose for the treatment of forehead lines is 20 units, which comes to about $200 to $300.
Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox Cosmetic, recommends treating forehead lines in conjunction with glabellar lines to lower your risk for brow ptosis.
The suggested dose for glabellar lines is also 20 units, which translates to around $400 to $600 for both treatments.
Risks and side effects of Botox injections
Botox injections are relatively safe when administered by a licensed and experienced doctor.
However, along with its intended effects, Botox may cause some unwanted effects, such as:
- Pain and bruising at the injection site
- Drooping eyelid (ptosis) or cockeyed eyebrows
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Flu-like symptoms
- Dry eyes or watery eyes
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Vision problems such as double vision (diplopia), blurred vision, or decreased eyesight
- Breathing problems
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Overactive bladder
Doctors generally recommend against botox if you’re:
- Trying to conceive
Moreover, Botox is not allowed in patients that have conditions that affect muscles and nerves and those that are allergic to cow’s milk proteins (CMPs).
In conclusion, did you know Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment? Yes, there are over 6 million Botox injections administered each year!
- Botox injections by mayo staff (n.d) https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/botox/about/pac-20384658
- Everything you need to know about botox(2017) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158647.php
- Botulinum Toxin Injections (n.d) https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/8312-botulinum-toxin-injections
- BOTOX Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) for injection(1989) https://www.allergan.com/assets/pdf/botox_cosmetic_pi.pdf