One of the most in demand cosmetic procedures is Botox. It appears to be the miracle drug which easily wipes away years of aging with one small injection, ridding the face of grimace lines or forehead wrinkle lines. Botox companies advertise that this injection can make you look 10 to 20 years younger. But while the temporary wrinkle reduction is quite impressive, there are some side effects to Botox that should be weighed before getting the procedure done.

How Botox Works

Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin protein produced calf reduction botox by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Researchers in the 1950s found that injecting botulinum into overactive muscles would decrease muscle activity. It did as such by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, which made the muscle unable to contract for a time of 3 to 4 months. It was later used by ophthalmologists to help treat crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinding. At this time botulinum toxin was renamed to the more marketable moniker “Botox.”

The effects that Botox has on the muscles gave plastic surgeons the idea of applying it straightforwardly into facial muscles which cause wrinkle lines due to the natural facial expressions of the face. The results were so popular that in 2007, Botox injection became the most common cosmetic operation in the United States with 4.6 million procedures annually. It is also used for a number of other non-cosmetic medical procedures including stroke, TMJ and vocal cord dysfunction.

Because of the demand, the number of individuals allowed to give the injections has developed dramatically. While it used to be given only by a doctor, today the following individuals can inject Botox.

– Dermatologists

– Plastic surgeons

– Cosmetic physicians

– Nurse practitioners

– Nurses

– Physician assistants

– Certain medical spa employees

Although Botulinum toxin is lethal in its naturally occurring form, when it is carefully isolated and purified it can be an amazing medication. But because of its toxic origins, it can have minor and serious side effects including:

– Facial paralysis

– Muscle weakness

– Dysphasia

– Flu-like symptoms

– Swallowing difficulties

– Pneumonia

– Speech disorders

– Breathing problems

At the amazingly low doses used medicinally, botulinum toxin has an exceptionally low level of toxicity and effective wrinkle line reduction. But, as with any cosmetic procedure, should be used sparingly and with adequate forethought.