Do you know what Botox really is? You’ve likely heard the tem “botulism.” According to the dictionary, botulism is “An illness caused by a potent bacterial toxin/poison (produced by Clostridium botulinum) which causes muscle weakness or paralysis.” Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces the toxin. And, guess what? That’s what we call the magic of Botox for wrinkle!
All-bad isn’t all bad. Scientists found a way to use this toxin to help human beings. Very small and highly diluted amounts of this toxin have been used to cause a controlled relaxing of muscles since the late 1980s. The first uses of Botox were for treating problems like uncontrolled blinking and lazy eye. There are fancy medical terms for these disorders, but we won’t bother with them.
Doctors had been using Botox to treat facial wrinkles well for quite a while but in 2002, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) got around to approving the use of Botox to treat frown lines between the eyes.
The ability to exhibit facial expressions is affected. Botox is injected to treat wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyes, and around the eyes (crow’s feet). But Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. Once Botox has been injected, these muscles can no longer contract, so the ability to exhibit facial expression is limited.
Botox is never used to treat wrinkles that have been caused by overexposure to the sun, because it simply isn’t effective.
Botox injections don’t qualify as surgery. The patient stays awake and alert. There is a little very minor discomfort. Botox is injected into specific muscles with a very, very tiny needle. It usually takes from three to seven days for the Botox to take effect.
The visual effects of Botox injections will last about six months. The muscles slowly begin functioning, and the wrinkles will begin to return. The muscles need to be retreated, but they will likely appear softer or less severe over time because the muscles are being trained to relax.