Botox Injections come under that category of medications which use several forms of the toxin named botulinum for mainly 3 functions, that are muscle spasm control, cosmetic improvement and severe underarm sweating The botulinum toxin is produced as a result of a type of food poisoning, called botulism carried by the microbes. Mainly, the purpose of using the botox injections can be attributed to their ability to fade away the presence of the facial wrinkles that develop overage. Several other problems like the repetitive neck spasms (also called cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder and the lazy eye can also be treated via botox injections. In some cases, Botox injections are also used to treat chronic migraines in some people. Botox has been the first ever drug on the market first which has exploited the botulinum toxin properties. Other drugs working on the same toxin are Dysport, Myobloc and Xeomin. Each of these drugs is different and also has different dosage units for the same purpose, therefore they are not interchangeable.
Botulinum toxin injections are responsible for blocking several chemical signals coming from the nerves, especially the ones that contract the muscles. These injections are most commonly used to provide temporary relaxation to the facial muscles which droop and cause wrinkles over time. These include:
• Frown lines present between the eyebrows
• Crow's-feet which are the lines spreading out from the corners of the eyes
• Forehead wrinkles or furrows.
Botox injections can also be used to treat several conditions that may negatively affect body functions. Here are a few examples:
• Cervical Dystonia: This is a painful condition caused due to the involuntary contraction of your neck muscles which cause the head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable and painful position.
• Lazy Eye: People who have the lazy eye is because of the imbalance present in the muscles which are responsible for positioning the eye.
• Muscle Contracture: There are several neurological problems like the cerebral palsy, which can affect the limbs, thereby pulling them inwards towards the center of your body. In cases such as this, the contracted muscles are treated with botox injections.
• Hyperhidrosis: This condition is marked by excessive sweating which can happen even at normal temperatures or even when you are not doing any strenuous activity.
• A Chronic Migraine: If you are suffering from migraines with a frequency of more than 15 days a month, then botox injections can be used to reduce headache frequency.
• Bladder Dysfunction: Botox injections also used to treat an overactive bladder to stop frequent urination.
• Eye Twitching: Botulinum toxin injections help to provide relief to contracture or twitching of muscles around the eye.
People aged between 18-65 years have fair eligibility to get botox injections according to their needs, cosmetic or medical. However, Botox injections are not recommended for people who:
• have allergies to any of the constituents in Botox
• have allergies to other botulinum toxin brands (such as Myobloc, Xeomin or Dysport) or have any history of a side effect from these brands.
• have a skin infection in the injection area.
• have severe breathing problems, like asthma.
• have swallowing problems
• have bleeding problems
• are planning to undergo surgery.
• have a history of having facial surgery.
• have weak forehead muscles.
Before proceeding with the Botox injections procedure, the doctor first numbs the area where the botox has to be injected in order for the patient to not have any discomfort. The doctor may use several methods to provide numbness to the area, like topical anaesthesia, ice and vibration anaesthesia, which specifically massages the area to reduce discomfort.
After this, the doctor begins with the procedure where he uses a thin needle containing botulinum toxin and injects it into your skin and muscles. The number of Botox injections may vary and are highly subject to several factors, especially the extent of the problem that has to be treated. Botox injections procedure is an outpatient procedure and the patient can be discharged the same day.
After getting a botox injection, one can resume the daily activities right away. However, certain care has to be taken of the injected area for a few days which you can not rub or massage. Otherwise, the botox can spread to a different area.
There can be some side effects of the botox injections, which may prevail over time but can be treated with the help of the medication prescribed by the doctor. They include:
• Pain at the injection site
• Dry mouth
• Neck pain
• Allergic Reaction