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What Are Botox Injections?


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What Are Botox Injections?

Botox is a drug made from the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The botulinum toxin is also responsible for a serious type of food poisoning called botulism. Doctors use small doses to treat:

• The appearance of wrinkles

• Severe underarm sweating

• Cerebral palsy

• Uncontrollable blinking and squints

• Facial spasms

How does it work?

The botulinum toxin works by blocking nerve signals to muscles. This causes paralysis, as the injected muscles can no longer contract. The relaxed muscles will therefore relax the skin and soften the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

How is the procedure performed?

The procedure lasts a few minutes and no anaesthetic is required. The toxin is injected into specific muscles using a fine needle. The full effect of the procedure will usually be seen within a few days and can last anything between four and six months.

Muscles will gradually gain movement and wrinkles will also slowly reappear.

What are the side effects?

Apart from muscle paralysis, there are a number of additional side effects to the botulinum injection. Temporary discomfort and bruising are common for most patients. Some may experience flu symptoms along with headaches that usually fade within one or two days. In these cases, it is advised to mention your symptoms to your doctor so they can advise you on whether you may require some medical attention.

References

http://www.webmd.boots.com/healthy-skin/guide/cosmetic-procedures-botox

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/botulinum_toxin_therapy.shtml

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/cosmeticsurgery/pages/non-surgicalprocedures.aspx

10914 Published 2013

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