For nearly 25 years now, Botox has been considered a miracle drug and still continues to evolve. This is evident with the recent approval by the FDA for the treatment of crow’s feet. The product is probably best known for its cosmetic use, but it also has many other benefits for men and women with certain conditions.
Botox is a natural, purified protein derived from the botulinum toxin. The word toxin can make many people squeamish, but Botox is not poisonous and is considered very safe. It has been FDA approved for several years now. Side effects are rare when injections are performed by a trained physician. The job of Botox is to suppress nerve signals. This is commonly done is areas of the face to prevent wrinkles from forming with the contraction of muscles.
There are many myths surrounding the drug, including that it is dangerous and painful. The truth is that the concentration of botulinum toxin in Botox is so low that it is able to be injected into the human body quite safely when done by qualified hands. Of course, as with any cosmetic or medical procedure, there is some degree of risk involved. Tales of droopy eyelids and crooked smiles are the result of overdose and misplacement by individuals who are not adequately trained to perform Botox injections. Thorough training of medical professionals, such as plastic surgeons and nurse injectors, also ensures that the procedure is virtually painless. Most people are surprised when the treatment is complete and they felt no discomfort. Proper use will result in a span of 3 to 6 months before another round of injections are needed. Botox is prized for its short procedure time and lack of necessary downtime.
When dynamic wrinkles are a concern, Botox is injected into the facial muscles to temporarily relax them. The skin is smoothed and additional wrinkles are prevented from forming. Muscles that are not injected with Botox remain unaffected and will function as normal, allowing you to continue to show facial expressions.
In 2002 the FDA approved Botox for the treatment of moderate to severe glabellar lines (frown lines) between the eyebrows. More recently, in September of 2013, approval was also granted for the lateral canthal lines (crow’s feet). Botox Cosmetic is currently the only medication approved for treatment of crow’s feet. Additional common uses of the substance, which are considered off-label and not approved by the FDA, include forehead wrinkles, lines around the lip area, upturning the corners of a downturned mouth, and to reduce the appearance of bands in the neck. Wrinkles begin to fade within 24 to 72 hours after treatment as the drug begins to work.
Medical Uses for Botox
Botox was first used back in 1989 to treat strabismus (“crossed eyes”) and blepharospasm (eye spasms). Over time, several other uses were discovered. Chronic migraines, overactive bladders, and excessive sweating of the underarms are also treatable with the multi-billion dollar prescription medication.
Treatment of eye muscle problems and spasms of the eyelids with Botox is more than a cure for a dislike of the way the eyes look or an irritating eye flutter. Eye spasms and crossed eyes can cause vision problems that affect daily living. They can also cause discomfort. Botox has been the leading treatment for these conditions for many years.
Botox may be suggested for individuals who experience chronic migraines that impair a patient’s function. Treatments are recommended when migraines occur more than 14 days per month. Injections around the head and neck aim to dull the intensity of the debilitating headaches, and may be made every 12 weeks.
Urinary incontinence, the sudden need to urinate, and frequent urination are signs of overactive bladder, which can also be helped with the use of Botox. Prescribed every 12 weeks as with chronic migraine treatments, Botox is injected into the bladder to relax the muscles and increase the organ’s capacity.
Excessive underarm sweating can be an embarrassing problem that is not always solved with antiperspirant but is controllable when Botox is used to block chemical signals sent from the nerves to the sweat glands. Sweating will only cease in the area that is treated.