What is Botox?

In recent years, the increasing popularity of plastic surgery and physical reconstruction has had people everywhere asking: “What is Botox?” Botox is an affordable drug made from the bacterial toxin, botulism, which is the same bacteria that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning. Botox injections are used for both cosmetic purposes as well as treating various health problems by blocking nerve activity in the targeted muscles, causing a temporary reduction in muscle activity.

So, What is Botox?

Physical Appearance

Botox is widely known for its use in altering and manipulating physical appearance. Small dose injections of the drug work to temporarily smooth facial wrinkles and increase the appearance of features like cheekbones and fuller lips. Unlike permanent surgical procedures that require extensive recovery pain and can cost thousands of dollars, Botox is a temporary solution to unwanted wrinkles around the mouth, eyes and neck, without the severity of a full-on surgery.

Treatments to Health Problems

An overlooked but vastly used purpose for Botox treatments is its use in treating a variety of health concerns. Conditions that are caused by overactive muscle contractions and nerve disorders can be treated with Botox as a way to cut off nerve activity to temporarily paralyze targeted muscles.

Botox is used to treat cervical dystonia, a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms. Eye muscle conditions caused by nerve disorders includes blepharospasm, which is uncontrollable eye blinking, or spasms of the eyelid. Other nerve disorders that can be treated by Botox are chronic migraines in adults, overactive bladder, spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis.

The effects of Botox can last anywhere from three to twelve months depending on the purpose of treatment. The most common side effects of Botox treatments are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. Flu-like symptoms, headaches, and upset stomach have also been known to occur, and you should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.