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Botox for Cosmetic vs. Medical Purposes

Botox is a full brand trademark that has become a household name. Nowadays, people use it to refer to all processes that use similar compounds with the same effect. Its popularity is well earned as it effectively reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. 

Botox paralyzes or weakens the muscles responsible for the lines and wrinkles on your face. First introduced as a drug for cosmetic purposes, its known effects have since found useful medical applications. Botox has been found to help with conditions that do not respond to other treatments. 


What Is Botox?


The name Botox comes from the source of the drug, Botulinum A toxin. The protein of interest is extracted and then synthesized. Botulinum A is one of the deadliest toxins known to man. Just one gram of the crystal form of the toxin is enough to kill one million people. 

While the toxin is lethal, its cosmetic and medical potential caught the eyes of scientists and medical professionals. It’s the reason they also tag it as a miracle poison. When used in well-defined doses, the neurotoxin that causes botulism can cause planned paralysis. It is safe for use and involves very few side effects. 


How Does It Work?


The bacteria usually produce seven different toxins, all of which affect neuro-activity. The toxins inhibit acetylcholine production, the primary neurotransmitter in muscles. When the toxin does this, it disrupts the nerve signaling system, stopping muscle contraction. 

Practitioners usually inject the drug into the muscle junctions, where muscle cells and nerves meet. The result is temporary muscle paralysis that lasts for the next few months. 


Cosmetic Uses of Botox


As mentioned, Botox is best known for reducing facial wrinkles and fine lines. It must be noted that it does not work on all lines and wrinkles, only on those that form due to facial expressions. These are called dynamic wrinkles, in contrast to static ones. The treatments last three to twelve months after the initial injection. 


Common Cosmetic Uses of Botox


It works best for:

  • Wrinkles between the eyebrows, also called glabellar lines or elevens

  • Crow’s feet or wrinkles around the eyes

  • Creases on the forehead that run from side to side

  • Lines that form at the corners of the mouth


Medical Uses


The FDA approved Botox for medical uses that involve neuromuscular conditions. Botox treatment for medical conditions is only approved for patients over 18, unless indicated for special conditions. 


Common Medical Condition Treatable by Botox


Botox is used for the following conditions:

  • Spasticity in the upper limbs for anyone over two years

  • Strabismus or crossed eyes in patients under 12

  • Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating in the underarms

  • Preventing migraines in people who experience migraines that last at least four hours in more than half of the month

  • Blepharospasms or eyelid spasms caused by dystonia

  • Cervical dystonia affecting the head and causing neck pain

For more information on Botox for cosmetic vs. medical purposes, contact SD Bombshell Aesthetics at our office in La Jolla, California. Call (858) 330-3400 to book an appointment today.

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