Whats Up With Botox?

BOTOX® is part of a family of drugs called "botulinum toxins". Specifically, it is the Registered Trademark and brand name for "botulinum toxin type A" which is manufactured by a company called "Allergan". Nothing else that is made by any other company is allowed to be called BOTOX®.

Botox is actually a first cousin to the dreaded botulism food poisoning that is caused by the evil bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Yikes! That sounds scary enough to make you stop reading right now -- but don't run away quite yet. Just as atomic energy can be used for good and bad, there's room in your life for Botox if used and administered properly.

Although you may have only heard of it recently, Botox has been around since the early 1960's when it was first approved for use as a treatment for Strabismus (crossed eyes). It later received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for three specific medical conditions known as blepharospasm, strabismus, and cervical dystonia. Essentially, each of these conditions involve the appearance of involuntary muscle contractions.

In order for a muscle to move, it must receive a signal from your brain. That signal is carried to the muscle by a chemical called acetylcholin. If your body produces too much acetylcholine then the affected muscles will go into "spasm" or begin twitching. BOTOX® blocks the release of acetylcholine to the affected muscle which stops or reduces the spasm. Since Botox is injected only into the affected muscle the rest of the body is not affected.

Unless you have one of the diseases that regular Botox is designed to treat, the chances are your real interest is in a derivative called "BOTOX® Cosmetic". Although most people simply refer to this derivative as Botox, there is a marked difference. BOTOX® Cosmetic is a protein which is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. It is FDA approved for reducing the activity of the muscles that cause "frown lines".

According to the manufacturer, "Treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic can visibly smooth and soften moderate to severe frown lines between your brows. An improvement can be seen within days and may last up to 4 months, although results may vary. In clinical trials, nearly 90% of men and women surveyed rated the improvement in the appearance of frown lines between their brows as moderate to better 1 month after treatment."

This means that while BOTOX Cosmetic doesn't work for everyone, there is a 90% chance that it will work for you. BOTOX Cosmetic is administered by injection directly into the muscles that are causing your frown lines. The process takes 10 minutes or less and there is no "recovery period". That makes it perfect to get done during your lunch break or anytime that you have a free 10 minutes.

A "normal" treatment can last for up to 4 months although this time period varies widely among different people. Regardless, the manufacturer recommends that you get treatments no more frequently than every 4 months.

Here are some guidelines for you to consider:

BOTOX Cosmetic may not be for you if you have any diseases that affect your nerves or muscles or if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant soon, or are nursing.

Be sure to give your doctor a COMPLETE listing of all medications that you are taking prior to receiving a BOTOX Cosmetic treatment.

Once you stop treatment your frown lines will gradually reappear until they look the same as before you began the BOTOX Cosmetic program.

It is not a permanent cure for your wrinkles!

Credit: Mike Jones of BodyFAQ.com, the health, body & beauty information site. Click here for related information on Liposuction: http://www.bodyfaq.com/liposuction.html

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