What is Botox?
Also called botulinum toxin type A, Botox is a medication used to block nerve activity in the muscles. Botox contains bacteria that causes botulism and when injected reduces muscle activity temporarily.
Botox is mainly used to treat severe spasms in the neck muscle, otherwise referred to as cervical dystonia. It is also used in the treatment of muscle stiffness in parts of the body including wrists, fingers, elbows, ankles and toes. Another use of Botox is in treating severe underarm sweating called Hyperhidrosis. Certain eye muscle conditions caused due to nerve disorders can be treated with Botox as well. These disorders include, but not limited to, spasm of the eyelids, uncontrolled blinking and eyes pointing in different direction. Spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis may sometimes lead to overactive bladder or urine leakage which can be treated with Botox injection. Also, chronic migraine can be treated with Botox especially in people suffering from it for more than 15 days. However, one of the most widely use of Botox is in the cosmetic industry for reducing wrinkles and fine line on the face.
Botox should not be used in the area where there is an infection. It should not be used in people with overactive bladder or incontinence with an existing bladder infection as well. Botox that is injected carelessly can spread to other parts of the body causing serious life-threatening side effects. There are many cases where patients treated by non-certified physicians have suffered permanent disability due to Botox toxins. Some of the side effects that the Botox cause may include drooping eyelids, hoarse voice, severe muscle weakness, vision issues, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing or talking and loss of bladder control. The side effect of Botox can persist for years if not treated as needed. In essence, it is important that Botox injection be given only by a trained professional with relevant medical degree. It is typically injected into the muscle by a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider.
In most cases, follow up doses are spaced at least three months apart. The injection may be given into more than one area the same day depending on the health condition that is being treated. Certain conditions require preparation before injecting Botox. For example, Botox used for treating eye muscle conditions require that a prescribed ointment, eye drops or special lens be used prior to the treatment. Treatment for excessive sweating may require the patient to shave underarms at least a day before the treatment so that the Botox injection site is clean. Also, it is important in this case to avoid using deodorant or other anti-aspirants before the treatment. Most people who will undergo this treatment should restrain themselves from exercise and fast-food diets. For neck spasms and muscle problems, it may take up to two weeks for the symptoms to go away and the patient to regain strength in his or her muscles. The greatest improvement can only be noticed after six weeks from the day the patient is treated.