Botox is easily one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment, with the amount of treatments administered in 2017 alone reaching 6 million. It is very popular among people mainly because it does not require any surgery, but also because of its other benefits:
- Reduces fine line and wrinkles
- Prevents excessive sweating
- Treats migraines and various muscular disorders
- Can also treat some bladder and bowel disorders, though that’s an application well outside of plastic surgery
Where Does Botox Come From?
Botox comes from the bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum, found in many natural sources such as forests, soil, and lakes. The bacterium is also originates in the intestinal tracts of many mammals and fish, as well as the gills and organs of shellfish.
The clostridium botulinum is generally harmless, but when the spores transform into vegetative cells and multiply, they start to produce botulinum toxin, which is a deadly neurotoxin that is very poisonous in high concentrations but is a successful and valuable therapeutic protein in controlled dosages.
When used and injected in extremely small concentrations, botulinum toxin can paralyze the muscles, which is the principle behind botox injections. It can smoothen out wrinkles and scars because it attaches to the receptors of muscles and cells, paralyzes them, and causes said muscle cells to either contract or shorten.
Current Approved Therapeutic Applications of Botox
Botox injections have a number of therapeutic applications, the list of the afflictions it can treat include:
- Neck and Shoulder Muscle Spasms
- Spasm of the Eyelids
- Chronic migraine
- Crossed Eyes
- Upper limb spasticity caused by stroke
- Excessive sweating
- Urinary incontinence caused by detrusor overactivity
- Hemifacial spasms
- Overactive bladder
- Crow’s Feet
- Frown Lines
There are also numerous other applications for botox, such as treatment for allergic rhinitis, cerebral palsy, and anal fissures, but they are off-label and not yet clinically approved and as such it is not recommended until more testing has been done over their efficacy. Not that it has stopped many individuals from seeking the treatment, but again, it is a risk so it is best to consult with your surgeon very closely before even considering whether you can take the off-label procedures.
Keep in mind that this is very reliant on the dosage of botulinum toxin, which is why only expert, accredited surgeons such as Dr. Sofonio are capable of safely injecting botox into you. You should not trust other people who have no experience and have not proven their skills through board certification. You can check out Dr. Sofonio’s CV here to see why you can trust him with botox injections.