What is Botox?
In 2020 it would be hard to find anyone who has not heard the word “Botox”. The discovery of the use of Botox in cosmetic enhancements has changed the face of Aesthetic Medicine. Botox is a shortened form of the words Botulinum Toxin. Botulinum Toxin is actually a poison, a good one at that, as for as Aesthetic Medicine is concerned! It is a toxin produced by the bacteria called Clostridium Botulinum, in short C. botulinum.
Don’t be put off by the words Toxin or Poison! There are many poisons/toxins used in medicine for life-saving purposes. When used precisely and judiciously even a deadly toxin can be beneficial.
C botulinum is a spore forming bacteria that can grow and proliferate in anaerobic environment and produce an exotoxin. This toxin has been responsible for a lethal condition called botulism, notably infantile botulism, where infants fed with contaminated honey developed this paralytic condition that results in rapid death from inability to breath. With proper health education fortunately, this condition has reduced significantly, even in developing countries.
A few decades ago, while working with the purified and standardized form of this toxin with their patients, a physician couple, Drs Carruthers noticed that patients who were getting the toxin injections for eye conditions saw decrease in their wrinkles that led them to further explore this for its cosmetic benefits. The rest is history.
Is Botox considered a medicine?
Botox is considered a prescription medicine that can only be ordered and used by Physicians, Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners. Hence this should not be used in a salon or a non-medical setting.
What are the different types of Botulinum toxin available in USA for cosmetic use?
Botox made by Allergan was the first Botulinum toxin type A to be FDA approved for cosmetic use. Subsequently came other toxins from several manufacturers. These include Dysport (Galderma), Xeomin (Merz) and recently Jeuveau (Evolus). Cosmetically they all function identically, while the speed of onset and duration of effect vary slightly between the toxins.
Why it is important to choose an experienced physician for your Botox treatment?
The treatment involves injecting precise dose of Botox into the muscles of facial expression, at the right points. Our facial expressions consist of several muscles interacting in an intricate manner. Wrong placement or wrong dose of Botox can result in side effects including, droopy eyebrows, droopy eyelids, total frozen appearance, unequal and crooked smile, unequal eyebrows, Spock eyebrows, and surprised appearance. Face is the first thing that draws attention and hence it is very important that you know who you would allow to touch and treat your face!
In addition to diminishing and improving the expression lines Botox is also used in treating the spasticity in children and adults with cerebral palsy, it is very effective in treating migraine and reducing excessive sweating in underarms, palms and feet. Botox is also helpful in toning the skin and improving the pore size and texture of the skin and improving neck lines. Botox in NJ is an extremely popular treatment among both young and old.
What are the other uses of Botox?
In addition to cosmetic use to reduce the appearance of frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet, Botox can also be used to treat gummy smile, sad smile, evert the lips (Botox lip flip) and reduce the appearance of neck bands. It is also effective in reducing excessive underarm sweating, sweating in the palms and even to improve the texture of the skin and reduce the size of the salivary glands, and shaping the jaw. Therapeutically it is used in treating migraine, TMJ pains, teeth grinding, spasticity of cerebral palsy, bladder spasm and esophageal spasm.
BOTOX® has become the most widely researched and studied treatment of its kind. It is currently offered for adults 18 years old and above, who are not pregnant, and have no medical contraindications. Once considered as a treatment for only older adults, now Botox is popular in those as young as 21 years old, who primarily use it for prevention and for getting subtle eyebrow lift and lip, flip treatments.