What is Botox and What Can Botox Do For You
By Steve Dimeck
The main disease that is treated by Botox is called dystonia. It is involuntary contraction of muscles and can occur in the neck, arms, legs, and face. It can occur by itself or from another neurological disorder, such as Parkinson's Disease. It can occur in only one group of muscles or all over the body.
Even though this disorder was discouraging to treat, Botox has made a fairly good solution. It is also used in cases involving spasticity or muscle tightness. When the brain is damaged by a stroke, head injury, multiple sclerosis, etc., the brain may lose the ability to control and relax the muscles.
Sometimes the worst thing about these types of neurological problems is the involuntary muscle tightness, which can be very painful, and which Botox can help relieve. Although most insurance companies won't pay for it, Botox can also alleviate headaches such as migraines. Kassel states "Blumenfeld's reported clinical experience adds to the growing evidence base supporting the clinical application of BoNT-A in a variety of headache types including migraines." Back pain, neck pain, and excessive sweating have also been treated successfully with Botox without any side effects.
The newest and most popular use of Botox is in the cosmetic industry. It is said to be the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the industry, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Even though Botox works for only two to five months, results are apparent within 24 to 48 hours, but must be repeated regularly. It is used to improve mild to severe frown lines by temporarily paralyzing the muscle so it won't move.
One procedure could cost anywhere from one hundred to four hundred dollars. It has also been found to be the best treatment for "frown" wrinkles of the brow between the eye brows, and the "crow's feet" beside the eyes which many women are concerned about. But men also are starting to have the same concerns and are getting the procedure done. Studies have shown that the effects of Botox in males are not as significant as in females.
In a scientific study by Allergan Inc., thirty days after the procedure, females showed an 84.7% improvement in frown lines where as in males the improvement was only 59.2%. The severity of the lines prior to treatment also has a large effect on the results achieved. Despite these results, men can also benefit from this cosmetic correction drug.
The growing popularity with Botox has brought on an even bigger fad called "Botox Parties." These "parties" are organized by practitioners whom buy the product in bulk and arrange get-togethers for clients receiving these treatments. This method was found to be less expensive for the patients.
As in any business, volume comes with discounts in medicine also. The way these "parties" work are very simple. A group of patients are invited and mingle in a waiting area with some refreshments. One by one, they are called into a private exam room. He or she pays a fee and signs an informed consent agreement, and fifteen minutes later they are back at the party.
Only about one tenth of a teaspoon is used for a typical procedure and anesthetics are rarely needed but readily available. These parties are usually by invitation only. Even though this sounds wonderful, you must be sure a qualified doctor is performing the procedure and that they are trained and qualified in cosmetic face surgery. You must also avoid alcohol and remain upright for a few hours after the procedure is done.
The main concern the FDA has is that Botox has the potential to be abused. "But we're going to see some strange aesthetic outcomes when these procedures are performed by physicians who haven't done them before," says Dr. Richard G. Glogau of UCLA Department of Epidemiology: School of Public Health. ASAPS has recently discovered that treatments have been dispensed in salons, gyms, hotel rooms, home-based offices, and other retail venues which could result in misuse, inappropriate dosages, unsanitary conditions, and can run the risk of improper technique.
With all of the hype about Botox and all of its different uses, it surely is an impressive drug for cosmetic purposes. Although there is no chance of contracting botulism, there are a few risks with the procedure. It is important to remember to go check with your doctor before getting Botox. As with any good thing, there is a down side to the procedure.
If someone has a history of peripheral motor neuropathic diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and neuromuscular junctional disorders such as Lambert-Eaton syndrome, then the patient should not get the procedure done according to studies done by Allergan Inc. As stated by the scientists at Allergan Inc. "There has been a case report where a patient developed aspiration pneumonia and died subsequently to the finding of dysphagia."
Therefore, it is important to take caution with new procedures. In normal cases, the safe use of Botox Cosmetic depends greatly on how the drug is stored, selection of a correct dose, and proper techniques. The physician must be familiar with the neuromuscular anatomy and/or the orbital anatomy of the area being treated before the procedure as per Allergan Inc.
There have been cases of patients suffering severe dysphagia and respiratory problems with typical sized doses of Botox Cosmetic. If the wrong muscles are treated, a person could have droopy eyelids for several weeks before they return to normal. Some other common side effects include headaches, nausea, flu type symptoms, double vision, and respiratory infection. Less frequent effects include pain, redness, and muscle weakness.
Even thought the results do not last forever, people are still willing to go through the procedures over and again just to accomplish the look of fewer wrinkles. It is a less invasive way to get results quickly and without scaring after each procedure which makes it virtually unnoticeable to everyone.
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