If you have been watching the news lately you probably have heard a lot about Botox. It is rising steadily in popularity with procedures increasing to over 6.1 million between the years of 2012 to 2013, about an 8% raise. Many physicians and even dentists are providing Botox injections as part of their services. There is also the Botox party where groups of people hold gatherings in which injections are given out. While most people see the most popular uses of Botox in the faces of their favorite celebrities, who swear by it, what they may no know is that its uses are not only relegated to the cosmetic realm with chemical peels and microdermabrasion. It can help to remedy several serious medical conditions.
What is Botox?
Botox has been used in the United states for the last twenty years and you may be surprised by its origins in nature. It is derived from an inactive form of Clostridium botulinum a bacteria which is found throughout nature. This organism creates a neurotoxin called botulinum. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is the same toxin responsible for the disease botulism which can be very deadly. However, very small amounts of this toxin have been show to aid several medical conditions.
Uses for Botox
Botox is a versatile pharmaceutical. It is best know for its cosmetic uses for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the face. But, due to its effectiveness at treating muscular conditions, it is also able to treat several other medical conditions:
- Hyperhidrosis(excessive sweating)
- Chronic migraines
- Blepharospasm(uncontrolled twitching of the eyelid)
- Severe muscle spasms
In addition to these uses, Botox also has several off label uses.
- Allergic rhinitis
- Vocal cord spasms
- Cerebal palsy
While it has gained widespread exposure, it is still important to note it is a medical procedure. Even though it is considered safe it is important to have procedures performed by a trained professional. If you are considering Botox injections you should keep in mind that it can come with several side effects. Most cases of poisoning due to Botox are because of improper doses. As always, with any medical procedure, consult with a doctor before using Botox.