Botox or botulinum toxin is a therapeutic agent derived from the bacterium, Clostridium Botulinum. Botox is produced in controlled laboratory conditions and given in extremely small therapeutic doses originally for the treatment of blepharospasm (eye spasm) and strabismus (misalignment of the eye).
Botox usually comes in a vial containing 100u (units) of freeze-dried product. The vials are stored in the office at -5º F until the Botox is reconstituted.
What Is Botox Used For?
Other than for its originally intended purpose, treatment of blepharospasm (eye spasm) and strabismus (misalignment of the eye) this product has cosmetic applications as well. BOTOX® is FDA approved for cosmetic use to improve the look of fine lines and superficial wrinkles between the brows caused from every day brow furrowing as well as for migraines. Facial expressions like smiling, frowning or squinting can also cause wrinkles and BOTOX® is very effective in these areas. If you find that the early signs of aging are becoming apparent or if your facial expressions are causing premature wrinkles to appear, then BOTOX® may be for you. BOTOX® is also used in the prevention of wrinkles as well, by prohibiting you from making the facial gestures that cause wrinkles.
How Does BOTOX® Work?
Normally, your brain sends electrical messages to your muscles so that they can contract and move. The electrical message is transmitted to the muscle by a substance called acetylcholine. BOTOX® works to block the release of acetylcholine and, as a result, the muscle does not receive the message to contract. This means that the muscle spasms or movements that cause wrinkling, stop or are greatly reduced after using BOTOX®. Patients sometimes refer to the effects of the injection to their area of treatment as being “paralyzed” temporarily.
Patients with hyperhydrosis (intense sweating) also can temporarily remedy their disorder with BOTOX® injections. The BOTOX® is injected into the areas which sweat profusely like the under arms and backs of knees or palms of the hands, the BOTOX® blocks the release of acetylcholine near the sweat glands which cause the excessive sweating.