Botox injection uses, side effects, duration, mechanism and injection areas

What is Botox?

With the increasing desire to retain a youthful and beautiful appearance, it’s no surprise the use of Botox is becoming a regular option in our time.
Botox is a drug (neurotoxin) that can temporarily paralyze the muscles.
It is gotten from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, which can be found in natural settings like the soil and lakes.
It can also be found in the gut of mammals.
The toxin forms when the bacteria spores transform, leading to a rise in the population of the cell.
This toxin is dangerous and is responsible for the disease, botulism.

Uses of Botox injection

Therapeutically, manufacturers have been able to produce Botox injections with tiny amounts of the botulinum toxin type A (OnabotulinumtoxinA) for  indications such as

  • Hyperhidrosis (severe sweating)
  • Spasticity
  • Cervical dystonia
  • Blepharospasm (eye spasms) and strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Chronic migraines etc

How Botox injection works

Botox acts on the nervous system, preventing acetylcholine, a chemical that is produced in the body, from being released from the presynaptic membrane.
Note that Acetylcholine is responsible for contraction of muscles.
Hence, there is temporal calming of the contractions and the muscles become less stiff when Botox prevents its release.

Advantages of Botox injection

  • Botox has the advantages of being relatively cost effective.
  • Its beneficial effect is seen after 3 days of treatment.
  • In addition, the procedure is fast and less invasive.
  • One can hope to delay the ageing process, especially women who want to remain young looking.
  • One is able to have an improved appearance without much stress.
  • With Botox, it’s a temporary goodbye to those wrinkles, lines and folds that pop up when you smile or make some facial expressions.

In recent times, as the demand for a lesser invasive procedure for facial rejuvenation is on the rise, Botox is favoured more because of its cosmetic applications in the reduction of facial wrinkles.
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure nationwide.
In 2016, over 4.5 million procedures were performed using Botox and similar
medications to fight forehead wrinkles.

Areas to inject Botox

Though the areas approved for the injection use by the FDA are the forehead and around the eyes, people often request the injections in other areas like the lines at the corners of the mouth and cobblestone skin on the chin.

Duration of Botox after adminstration

This procedure last for 3 to 12 months depending on the treatment and takes 24 to 72 hours for the toxin to take effect.

Side effects of Botox

Generally, side effects of this injection are uncommon as it is well tolerated by
people.
Regardless, Botox has been known to cause the following:

  • headache
  • numbness
  • urinary incontinence
  • Eye related discomforts like dry eyes, swelling round the eyes, temporary eyelid dropping, blurred or double vision

Not withstanding the above side effects, the use of Botox treatment is a huge relief to people.

By: Jennifer Ebube Onwudiegwu (B.Pharm)