Botox Cosmetic is an injectable wrinkle muscle relaxer. It uses botulinum toxin type A, specifically OnabotulinumtoxinA, to temporarily paralyze muscle. This decrease the appearance of facial wrinkles. A Botox treatment is minimally invasive. It’s considered a safe, effective treatment for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. It can also be used on the forehead between the eyes.
Botox is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment where it is mainly inactive and non-toxic. Botulinum toxin is used to decrease fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the underlying muscles.
The bacterium can also be found in the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish and in the gills and organs of crabs and other shellfish. Such naturally occurring instances of Clostridium botulinum bacteria and spores are usually harmless. Problems only arise when the spores transform into vegetative cells and the cell population enlarges. At a certain point, the bacteria begin producing botulinum toxin, the deadly neurotoxin responsible for botulism.
Botulinum toxin is currently used to treat over 20 different medical situation, with more applications under investigation.
Botulinum toxin is currently approved for the following therapeutic applications:
- Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids).
- Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms).
- Chronic migraine.
- Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
- Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
- Detrusor (bladder wall muscle) overactivity – causing urinary incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Hemifacial spasm
- Glabellar lines
- Canthal lines
Risks and side effects
Mild pain, local edema (fluid buildup) and/or erythema (reddening of the skin) at the injection site.
- Malaise – feeling generally unwell.
- Mild nausea.
- Temporary unwanted weakness/paralysis of nearby muscles.
- Temporary upper lid or brow ptosis (drooping).
- Weakness of the lower eyelid or lateral rectus (a muscle controlling eye movement).
- Dysphagia – trouble swallowing.
- Neck weakness.
- Flu-like illness.