BOTOX ® , the abbreviated name for botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxic protein, the principle use of which is in cosmetic dermatology. BOTOX ® is commonly used to treat wrinkles, facial creases and brow lines (glabellar lines). In recent years, BOTOX ® has gained popularity due to the less invasive nature of the treatment, its affordability and the speed of the procedure and results. In addition to this, side effects of BOTOX ® are temporary in nature as they only last as long as the treatment and can even fade before the effects of treatment fade.
Cosmetic Uses of BOTOX ®
One of the most common cosmetic uses of BOTOX ® is to correct brow frown lines (also known as glabellar lines). By injecting BOTOX ® into one or more sites in or around the area of creasing, the ?stern? or ?frowning? expression can be eliminated, giving a smoother appearance. BOTOX ® is also commonly used in brow elevation and lowering. By injecting the eyebrow depressing muscles (medial corrugators) with BOTOX ® , the muscles are relaxed, resulting in a brighter look. Brow lowering is rectified to give facial symmetry.
BOTOX ® is a popular method used to treat overactive facial and eyelid muscles which can lead to facial twitching. By administering small doses of BOTOX ® into muscles such as the orbicularis oculi (the muscle which controls the eyelids), muscles are relaxed, meaning twitching and contractions are reduced.
The treatment of crow's feet (prominent lines around the eyes) and horizontal forehead lines using BOTOX ® continues to grow in popularity and has become one of the most common cosmetic uses of the toxin. Injecting BOTOX ® into the forehead and close to the orbital rims, these wrinkles are smoothed and in some cases eradicated completely.
Another prominent cosmetic use for BOTOX ® is smoothing upper lip wrinkles, which are associated with aging. Injecting a small dosage of BOTOX ® at the site of these wrinkles is an effective method of smoothing and eliminating them.
Medical Uses of BOTOX ®
BOTOX ® is also commonly used to treat a number of medical conditions. The most common medical use of BOTOX ® is to treat spastic muscular conditions, such as Torticollis and Mytonia Dystrophica, conditions that cause spasms and twitching. Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy are also treated using BOTOX ® . BOTOX ® loosens and relaxes the muscles in spasm and relieves pain and reduces contractions.
Another common medical use for Botox is to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), which is a result of overactive sweat glands. This could occur in a number of areas including the underarms, palms and feet. Injecting BOTOX ® into sites in these areas blocks the nerve impulses which control the sweat glands, dramatically reducing the level of perspiration.
BOTOX ® is also frequently used to treat certain forms of incontinence. Overactivity in bladder muscles can cause incontinence of the urge type. By injecting BOTOX ® into the muscle wall of the bladder, muscle overactivity is reduced and bladder sensitivity lessened.
Because BOTOX ® can block the receptors in the brain that register migraine pain, BOTOX ® is regularly used to treat migraines and tension headaches. Once the treatment has been administered, muscles are relaxed and tension is relieved.