Botox: Beautifies by Paralysing Your Nerves
Some slaves to beauty and their agent
But a Killer Lurks in the Wings!
Regular readers of my articles in the past would know that animal toxins have been regularly featured, especially those from the Arachnids and Snakes. Until yesterday, however, I had not realised that the most toxic substance of all was just under (or above) the nose of many, if not mine.
Science knows that all substances are poisonous to a greater and lesser degree. Even the stuff of life - water - is poisonous if one drinks too much at a time - perhaps 10 litres would do the trick.
But the most toxic substance known to man, and probably well known to many female readers, is Botulinium, produced by the Clostridium Bacteria, and the agent from which Botox is manufactured.
Botulism has been a well known killer for several hundred years, the infection which has been found in canned food and honey*, etc. (see note). We all know to properly refrigerate our food and to make sure canned meat products especially are well heated. There are antidotes for botulism poisoning these days which save most from death. Before 1950 or so, 50% of those becoming infected with botulism received sad burials.
The poison is a neurotoxin, as so many are in nature, but the most toxic on Earth. That is, it paralyses or blocks certain nerve groups from transmitting signals. which can cause certain death unless treated. Even then, the progress back to full health can be months.
Before Botox was used in injections to roll back ageing by blocking the nerves which cause wrinkles, it was effaceous in treating Stradismus (squinting), certain spasms in the sphincter and even as an anti-perspiration agent, (among other treatments). It has proven helpful in treating migrains and, in fact, many woes where the action of nerves/muscles were involved.
But it is the rather sad clamour by ladies, and some males, to stop and roll back the ageing clock where Botox shines in 2013.
Surpressing Acetycholine in the nerves of the forehead to flatten-out "glabellar frown lines," and face, since 1989, Botox has been injected by doctors, nurses and in specialized clinics all over the world, but mostly in the USA and the UK, etc., where the idolization of youth and perceived beauty through the cult of celebrity is de rigeur.
By 2007, millions of people had been treated, dooming themselves to return every 3 to 6 months for booster needles as the effect of the toxin wears off.
It would only need about two kilos of botulinium in powder form to kill every human being on the planet and many of the animals as well. This has not escaped those obssessed by terrorism planning how the toxin could be used as a terrifying "bio-terror" agent. Presumably, many would die in short order, but would have happy, frown-free faces as they lay in their coffins.
Meanwhile, some medical personnel are not convinced that the long-term use of Botox might be as benign as the commercial sector and the millions of adherents claim. Although Botox is only a well watered-down tincture of the original neurotoxin, it has already caused other problems within the bodies of users, such as drooping mouth, eyes and other muscles; migration of the toxin to other parts of the body and ever a sort of "cognitive sloth" in which the infected has trouble taking on board simple information as well as relaying the same.
Doctors advise pregnant women to not use Botox which indicates their concern about the substance showing up in the womb and placenta. Even more disturbing is that the good old rogues have got in on the act distributing Botox that isn't, or Botox that is old or impure.
With the price of Botox treatments running at around £400 a session, perhaps the adage, "There's no free lunch," might also be adopted by Botox users who might live - collectively - to regret being part of Shakespear's world of "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity."
Note: Doctors agree that honey should not be given to babies under one-year old because they might have little resistance against botulism.
PS I realise I am just adding my voice and this humble hub to the screeds of medical and lay advice about Botox. We might not have heard the end of the bad effects, either.