Like it or not aging is an inevitable fact. You cannot avoid it and whatever the changes it brings to our body and its beauty. However, certain strategies are there to at least slow the aging process or visible signs of aging such as wrinkles. Adopting healthier lifestyle choices is no doubt an effective way. However, this is slow and not as much effective as a therapeutic strategy can be.
Botox is one of the most popular and widely used cosmetic treatments. This is a non-surgical treatment. This takes only few minutes and no anesthesia. All you have to endure is an injection and you will get rid of aging lines and wrinkles for at least three to four months. Sounds appealing! But you know everything comes with a price, so is the Botox treatment. Just like there are many side effects of using fairness creams and many cosmetics contain harmful chemicals, Botox do have side effects. If you are planning on getting a Botox treatment, here is something you must read. Because, it’s good to know!!!
The Science Behind Botox
Botox injection consists of neurotoxin botulinum, derived from a bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria and its botulinum toxin are usually associated with botulism, a severe type of paralytic infection. Botulinum is basically a neurotoxin. As the name suggests, this toxin mainly affects nervous system. Botox treatment manipulates this neurotoxin to ‘paralyze’ certain facial cells and muscles. Under normal condition, the brain cells release chemical messenger or neurotransmitter molecule. The most common is acetylcholine. This acetylcholine when released from one neuron, bind to receptors of adjacent neuron. This is how cell signaling is done. Now the botulinum toxin, it disrupts the nervous coordination or the cell signaling process. This slows down the aging process to considerable extent. People usually receive Botox injection on forehead, around eyes and chin. One of the brands popular for Botox treatment is Xeomin.
Botulinum toxin, under natural condition is highly dangerous. Botulinum food poisoning can lead to respiratory paralysis and even cause death of the person. Just one gram of this toxin is considered to be lethal enough to kill over a million humans. However, this can be useful when used in a certain limit. Once you receive a Botox treatment, the effects last for 3-4 months. After this, the aging lines and wrinkles get visible again. So you’ll have to take another round of Botox.
Procedure for Botox Treatment
As I said, botulinum toxin is highly dangerous. Therefore, its minute concentration in dilute form is used in Botox. The cosmetic surgeon applies Botox using a fine needle. This is injected at specific areas on face, such as at chin, around eyes and forehead. It usually takes 24-72 hours for botulinum to take effect. Having a Botox treatment during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is not a wise choice. Moreover, if you have a history of allergic reactions to certain drugs, it’s better to avoid this treatment.
Side Effects of Botox Treatment
There are few temporary side effects of Botox. These last for 2-3 days and gradually get well. These include skin rashes, swelling, headache; eyelid drooping etc. there is no need to take some specific medications for these signs. As soon as the botulinum gets absorbed in deep skin cells, these signs disappear. You can take a mild painkiller for headache. Moreover, avoid rubbing the itchy areas and avoid alcohol to prevent the aggravation of these side effects.
In addition to these temporary side effects, some people may develop long-term and serious health issues. These may be:
- A general feeling of discomfort and fever-like condition
- Eyelid drooping due to weakness of muscles
- Trouble in food ingestion (Dysphagia)
- Blurred vision and weak eyesight
- Gallbladder dysfunction
- Nerves around neck may get weak (feels like paralysis). This condition is known as brachial plexopathy.
- Hives and allergic reaction
Botulinum Toxin for Therapeutic Purposes
Most common use of botulinum toxin is in the form of Botox treatment to reduce wrinkles and aging lines. In addition to its aesthetic value, this toxin is allowed in and as therapeutic agents. There are more than 20 different therapeutic products which constitute this toxin.
The medical conditions which apply botulinum toxin are:
- Reducing the wrinkles and aging lines
- Muscle spam in neck and shoulder.
- Eyelid drooping and spam.This condition is known as blepherospam.
- Axillary hyperhydrosis, a condition of excess sweating
- Hemifacial spam
- Overactive bladder, characterized by frequent urination
- Cerebral palsy
- For improving difficulty in swallowing and ingestion
- Anal fissure
There are few types of botulimu m toxin depending on the serotype of clostridium botulinum. Commercially, the botulinum toxin is available as:
The first three types are tagged as botulium toxin type A and myobolic is commercial name of botulinum toxin type B.
Despite having certain side effects and not being the permanent solution to deal with wrinkles and aging process, Botox is widely being used. The application of botulinum type A toxin in Botox cosmetic treatment is estimated to be increased by 700 percent since the last decade.
The Alternate Option to Botox
Keeping in view of these side effects, I would suggest that choosing botox as an anti-aging option should not be your first choice. Natural remedies have no substitute for many health issue. Same is the case with staying young or keeping your skin wrinkle free. Choose a healthy life style. Balanced and healthy diet can do much more than your expectation. For instance, fruits have natural capabilities for keeping your skin fresh and wrinkle free. This is because they are enriched with the antioxidants which prevent oxidative damage to skin cells. Thus these prevent aging. Monica Halem, a dermatologist at Columbia University considers that Botox is preventable, and suggest;
‘‘You won’t have wrinkles if you don’t move your muscles too much.’’
So, here is a piece of advice that ‘try to stay natural and adapt natural way first to stay young and beautiful. Botox can be an option but it should not be your first option.’