Botox is used for both therapeutic and aesthetic treatments. Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria that causes botulism. When the Botox botulinum toxin is purified and used in tiny doses in specific areas, it temporarily reduces muscle contractions for approximately 3 months. Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to twelve months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side effects are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. You could also have flu-like symptoms, headache, and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids. You should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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We’ve all heard of Botox, responsible for generations of smooth foreheads in Hollywood. But Botox has also brought relief to many people who suffer from chronic medical conditions. In 2010, Botox was approved for use with chronic migraine, and many patients are reporting success. Botox is only FDA-approved for chronic migraines, which means headache on 15 or more days a month. Botox is not recommended for patients who experience fewer than 15 headache days a month.
Botox is injected around pain fibers that are involved in headaches. Botox enters the nerve endings around where it is injected and blocks the release of chemicals involved in pain transmission. This prevents activation of pain networks in the brain. Botox prevents migraine headaches before they start, but takes time to work.
The FDA approves the use of Botox to treat chronic migraine in adults who are age 18 or over. Botox is considered an “off-label” treatment if it’s used for children or adolescents. This means that a doctor can prescribe it, but insurance companies might not pay for it.
The primary use of Botox is reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles. The amount used to treat wrinkles and other conditions is extremely small to help prevent poisoning from the toxins while creating the desired cosmetic effect. It may take two to three, and in rare cases up to five days, after treatment before you begin to see notable results in the mirror.
People often request the injections in the following areas of the face:
However, the FDA have only approved the injections for use around the eyes and on the forehead.