Is Botox safe?

Cosmetic procedures such as Botox are becoming more common in this age of looking good to feel good. The lengths at which some people will go to alter their appearance can be staggering and potentially harmful to their health. Before you consider any cosmetic procedure, it is important to know exactly what you’re having done and what side effects their might me. Botox, being one of the most popular and well-known non-surgical cosmetic treatments is no different.

Firstly, what exactly is Botox? Botox is actually a natural neurotoxin derived from clostridium botulinum, found in places like lakes and forests where it is inactive and non-toxic. It is a type of bacteria that can also be found in intestinal tracts of many mammals. As a neurotoxin, it works because it interferes with the signalling process that allow neurons to communicate. The botulinum toxin is actually one of the most poisonous substance known to man and in high doses can result in botulism, a life-threatening disease. Despite the toxicity, Botox remains extremely popular. Why is this?

At extremely low doses it does a fantastic job in preventing signals from the muscle and neurons and actually paralyzes the targeted muscles. Typically used in the facial muscles that cause frown lines, Botox essentially paralyses these muscles for a few months and does not let them contract or tense into a frown or wrinkle. That way, with a completely relaxed muscle, over a time a wrinkle can shrink and become less stiff. It can take anywhere from 24-72 hours to start working and can last between 2 – 6 months

Botulinum toxin is currently approved as the anti-wrinkle treatment Botox, but also for eyelid spasms, migraines, excessive sweating, chronic muscle spasms, crossed eyes, all under varying drug names. It is generally well tolerated by most people at the prescribed micro doses, however it can have side effects and should only be administered by a professional. Approximately 1 percent of people who get botulinum toxin injections develop antibodies, making any following treatments ineffective. It some cases, it may also cause nausea, numbness, pain, headaches and fatigue.

While Botox is regarded as safe and effective, remember like any drug it has side effects and requires constant treatments for long term results. Source: