Botox is nothing new. We all have heard of botox as a cosmetic procedure to get rid of unwanted wrinkles. But do you know, it is also used to treat medical conditions, including migraines and muscle pain?
Botox is used for two different purposes:
- Botox cosmetics
- Botox therapeutics
Botox weakens or paralyzes muscles. In little amounts, it can minimize skin wrinkles and cure some medical conditions.
It is basically a toxin. However, when medical health professionals use it appropriately in small doses, it can offer both cosmetic and medical benefits.
FDA has approved the utilization of botox in the treatment of various health issues, including migraine, excessive sweating, eyelid spasms, and certain bladder disorders.
What Is Botox?
Botox is a brand name for a toxin derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In humans, it works as a neurotoxin, effectively interrupting the transmission of neurological signals between the brain and any muscle in which the toxin is shot.
There are eight types of botox, types A to H, and two of those types – A and B – are marketed commercially and medically for utilization in humans. The best known and popular commercially accessible botulinum toxin product is Botox, which comprises botulinum toxin type A. Other examples of botulinum toxin type A products are Dysport and Xeomin. Botulinum toxin type B is accessible as Myobloc.
What is Botox Cosmetics? What Is It Used For?
Botox cosmetics is a dermal injectable that should always be prescribed and administered only by a healthcare professional like a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. It contains botulinum toxin type A and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Upon administration, botox cosmetics paralyzes the muscles temporarily by interrupting the neurological signals between the brain and the muscle leading to contraction. This prevents the formation of wrinkles temporarily.
FDA approved it in the year 2002 for temporary enhancement of the appearance of mild to severe glabellar lines that appear between your eyebrows. Botox cosmetics were also approved for treating mild to severe crow’s feet, the lines that show up at the corners of your eyes.
Who Can Undergo Botox Cosmetics?
Botox cosmetics are suitable for everyone between the ages of 18 and 65 years for temporary treatment of all the facial issues discussed above. Most people think that botox cosmetics are only for older people who are already exhibiting signs of ageing. But the fact is, it can be used in younger people as well to minimize the risk of further development of glabellar lines, forehead lines, and crow’s feet.
What is Botox Therapeutics? What Is It Used For?
It is a prescription medicine that has the same composition as botox cosmetics, although it’s used for treating various conditions or symptoms. Also called Botox Medical, its utilization for medical purposes precedes its use for cosmetics, which was once considered a side effect of the medical treatment. As we have stated, its composition for both cosmetic and therapeutic purses are the same, the mechanism of action is the same, although its uses are absolutely different.
Botox therapeutic was introduced in the year 1989, with approval of the FDA for the treatment of certain eye muscle disorders, including blepharospasm (eye twitching) and strabismus (crossed eyes).
Following are some other conditions that could be treated with botox therapeutics:
- Overactive bladder, such as incontinence
- Chronic migraines and headaches
- Cervical dystonia, such as abnormal head position and neck pain
- Muscle stiffness in wrists, elbows, thumbs, fingers, ankles, and toes
- Primary hyperhidrosis, including excessive sweating in the hands, underarms, face, head, and feet
Who Can Undergo It?
Botox Therapeutics is suitable for anyone with the above-mentioned medical conditions who have been prescribed it by a health professional. The age group for which botox therapeutics are suggested varies depending upon the medical condition. For example,
- Strabismus or Blepharospasm – 12 years or older
- Cervical dystonia – 16 years or older
- Chronic migraines, muscle stiffness, overactive bladder, incontinence – 18 years or older
Are The Procedures Of Botox Cosmetics And Therapeutics Different?
The procedures of botox cosmetics and therapeutics are quite similar and involve the following steps:
- Firstly, the clinician will take your detailed examination to evaluate your budget and requirements.
- Then they will utilize botulinum toxin by diluting the powder in saline and injecting it directly into the neuromuscular tissue.
- It takes about 24 – 72 hours for the toxin to initiate its effects. In rare cases, it may take around five days for the toxin to show its full effect. The effects may last for 3 – 12 months, depending upon the treatment.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please avoid using botox. You should also not use botox treatment if you ever had an allergic reaction to the drug or any of its constituents.
Cost, Effectiveness & Time
The cost of botox treatments depends upon several factors, including:
- Whether it is for cosmetic or therapeutic use
- Where the treatment is taking place
- Who provides the treatment?
- The number of units being utilized
One study found that for cosmetic use:
- The cost of treatment for crow’s feet and frown lines was $376.
- The procedure lasted for about 30 minutes.
- The effects showed up within 1 – 5 days.
- Repeat treatments were required every 4 – 6 months.
- The patient can resume work at once.
Medicare usually covers the expense of botox for therapeutic purposes that doctors consider necessary. You must confirm if the treatment is covered before your appointment because of its considerably high cost.
Irrespective of whether you are undergoing botox cosmetics or therapeutics, you should make sure that it’s done by a medical professional with the appropriate skills and training.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?
Botox injections work well for most people and do not cause any side effects. However. On the basis of the purpose of the treatment and the person’s response, it may cause some of the following side effects:
- An upset stomach
- A headache
- Dry eye, following cosmetic uses
- Mild pain, bruising and swelling around the injection site
- Temporary weakness or paralysis of the surrounding muscles
- Temporary eyelid drooping
- A worsening of neuromuscular conditions
- Urinary problems
- Corneal ulceration after receiving treatment for blepharitis
- Spatial disorientation or double vision after receiving treatment for strabismus
- Cardiovascular problems including arrhythmia or myocardial infarction
Botox injections are utilized for both cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. It can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and can also be used to treat certain conditions associated with the nervous and muscular systems.
If you wish to try botox, please consult your healthcare provider and discuss the costs, benefits, risks, and other important considerations.