What is Botox?

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin type A (whose most famous Cosmetic is  BOTOX ® by Allergan) is a protein complex produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which contains the same toxin that causes food poisoning.

When used for medical purposes as an injectable form of purified botulinum toxin, small doses block the release by the nerve cells of a chemical called acetylcholine, which signals muscle contraction. By selectively interfering with the ability of muscle contraction expression lines are smoothed, and in many cases, are nearly invisible in a week.

Application of botulinum toxin type A is the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in accordance with American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). BOTOX ® is seen by some as the ultimate fountain of youth.

BOTOX ® was first approved in the United States in 1989 to treat two eye disorders. In April 2002 the FDA (U.S. agency that regulates the approval of medicines), satisfied with studies indicating that Botox ® reduced the severity of wrinkles by up to 120 days, gave approval for its use for this purpose.

If you are considering the cosmetic use of BOTOX ® take the following precautions:

  • Make sure a qualified physician is performing the procedure.
  • Make sure the doctor is trained and qualified in cosmetic surgery of the facial skin.
  • Ask questions and inform yourself about the risks and benefits involved in the procedure.
  • Avoid alcohol and remain upright for several hours after the procedure.
  • Choose medical facilities that use sterile techniques. The necessary equipment should be available to answer any potential problems.

Although there is no chance of contracting botulism from botulinum toxin type A, there are still some risks associated with the procedure. If too much toxin is injected, for example, or is injected into the wrong facial area, the person may end up with the muscle of the eyelid drooping (pitos eyelid). This particular complication, which can last for weeks, was observed in clinical trials.

Other side effects following injection were headache, respiratory infection, flu syndrome and nausea. Other less common adverse reactions include pain in the face, redness at the injection site and muscle weakness. These reactions are usually temporary but can last for months.

While the cosmetic effects of botulinum toxin type A does not last, people do not mind repeating the procedure every 4 to 6 months to maintain a wrinkle-free look. After all, fighting the signs of aging in a noninvasive form is part of the fascination with the procedure, added to the fact that he does not leave ugly scars and requires little recovery time.

The FDA recommends that Botox ® be injected no more frequently than once every three months, and that the lowest effective dose should be used.

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