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Botox is a dermal injectable made of botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin derived from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. When injected into muscles, it blocks the neurotransmitter that signal between the muscles and the brain that tells them to contract. This not only helps to treat many medical conditions that are related to muscle spasticity and tension, it also helps to treat lines and wrinkles in the face. It is a medical product and can only be legally prescribed and injected by a licensed doctor.

It is 1 of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country, with millions of patients receiving injections every year.

What can Botox do?

Botox is indicated for a number of different conditions, both medical and cosmetic. It was initially used to tread conditions in the eye, such as crossed eyes and blepharospasm. Many of the applications since then have only come to light as useful side effects as a result of other procedures. Here are just a few things Botox can be used for:

  • Botox for wrinkles

    Botox is an effective treatment for dynamic wrinkles, or the wrinkles that appear due to facial movements. These dynamic wrinkles include the glabellar lines, also known as frown lines, which appear as vertical lines between the eyebrows. Botox can also treat horizontal forehead wrinkles that typically appear during expression of surprise. Another effective area for Botox injections is around the eyes. Crow’s feet can also be treated with Botox.

  • Botox for cervical dystonia

    By blocking the nerve signals that cause involuntary muscle spasm around the neck, Botox is able to reduce stiffness and tension in patients who suffer from cervical dystonia. Cervical dystonia can be a very painful and debilitating condition, and Botox injections can help return a better quality of life to patients who suffer from it.

  • Botox for headaches

    Botox has proven to be an effective treatment for patients who suffer from chronic migraine headaches. Individuals who suffer from more than 15 headaches in a month may qualify for Botox injection treatment, and clinical results have shown that some patients experienced less than half the amount of headaches as they did prior to treatment. Read more about Botox treatment for chronic migraine.

  • Botox for hair

    Botox injections for treating hair loss is another use that was discovered as a by-product of other treatments. A lot of the evidence right now is anecdotal, but preliminary tests show success in helping new hair growth and in strengthening hair overall.

Botox injections typically have effects that last between 3 to 6 months depending on what is being treated and the severity of the issue. Injections should never be administered with less than 3 months passing between treatments.

What are the risks of Botox?

While Botox has been approved by various regulatory agents around the world for certain uses, there are still some risks associated with injections. Some mild side effects include:

  • Pain, bruising, and swelling at the injection sites;
  • Flu-like symptoms or headache;
  • Dry eyes.

The abovementioned side effects are temporary and will typically present themselves directly after injections or up to a week after injections. They will resolve themselves within a few days without intervention. Though not very common, there are some more serious risks that may occur if the Botox solution spreads to different parts of the body than the initial injection site or administered by an unlicensed injector. If any of these reactions occur, a medical professional should be contacted immediately:

  • Muscle weakness in area other than the area treated;
  • Vision problems;
  • Issues speaking, swallow, or breathing;
  • Loss of bladder control.

More information

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Disclaimer: These articles, and any views and opinions expressed, are not endorsed by Raskel Medical. The articles are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice. Raskel Medical does not check or edit the content of these articles for medical accuracy. Contact your medical practitioner for any medical advice needed.