Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox or Dysport is a popularly used procedure by healthcare practitioners for dermatological, cosmetic and therapeutic purposes.
Botox is a protein produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria occur naturally in soil, lakes and forests, and are even found in the intestines of certain animals. It is a neurotoxin and works by targeting the nervous system in an attempt to temporarily relax the muscle. Thus, producing the desired results. It is interesting to know that Botulinum toxin is also responsible for botulism.
Although it is a toxin, but, when used in the correct amount and proper doses, it works wonders – both medical and cosmetic. Botox was discovered in the 1970s by a Belgian scientist. Researching during the Botulism outbreak in the nation, the scientist found that it helps in treating strabismus (crossed eyes, due to over-contraction of muscle in the eye causing improper alignment of both eyes when looking at an object). Once it was proven and authorized for aesthetic use, Allergan got it licensed and named the substance Botox. Subsequently, manufacturers came out with other brands such as Dysport and Xeomin.
Primarily used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, its applications are not just limited to that.
1. Medical Uses:
Botox is widely used by doctors in the treatment of medical conditions affecting the neuromuscular systems. These range from the treatment of teeth grinding, underarm/palm sweating, migraines, overactive bladder, cervical dystonia etc.
2. Cosmetic Uses:
Its various cosmetic applications are the reason most of us know of Botox. It would not be wrong to say that Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide.
The injections are adminstered in the following scenarios:
3. Slimming Purposes:
Using botox to relax and shrink certain group of muscles, doctor can slim the body part and give it a better shape. It is commonly used in Masseter reduction treatment in Asia. Masseter is a chewing muscle located at the angle of jaw, by reducing the size of masseter, one can achieve a smaller and less squarish face shape. In general, botox can be used for:
4. Other Uses:
Off-label Botox also finds its uses in helping with conditions such as:
Let’s discuss some of the cosmetic uses of Botox in details.
1. Botox for face slimming and teeth grinding
Tired of sweating it out in the gym and surfing through YouTube for hours, learning those perfect contouring skills to achieve that chiselled face? Well, Botox can help you achieve that slim face that is naturally contoured.
Technically known as the masseter muscle reduction, the process targets the masseter muscles present at the angle of the jaw. Injecting Botox into these muscles works by reducing their activity, as a result of which the desired face contour is achieved. Moreover, by injecting it into the chewing muscles, Botox can also help with teeth grinding and related problems. It will reduce the clenching or grinding events, keeping your teeth intact.
2. Botox for wrinkles removal
Wrinkles although a normal sign of ageing, are considered by many as a hindrance to their good looks. Wrinkles are basically of two types:
By injecting Botox, the doctor aims at relaxing the local muscles and subsequently stop the skin folding. This helps in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by smoothening the skin.
3. Botox for face lifting
It is called micro-botox or botox dermolift. It is a rather simple procedure in which diluted botox/dysport are injected into the superficial layer of skin, along the hairline encircling the face.
Unlike the conventional botox procedures, this leads to the tightening of the skin surface, giving it a perfect lift and yet looks natural, because each injection point only consists of a tiny dose of botox.
4. Botox for pore reduction
Botox for pore reduction is known as intradermal botox or meso botox. It not only reduces the pore size but also lessens the oil production, decreases acne marks and also minimizes sweat production. The arrector pili muscles are targeted in this case.
5. Botox for sweaty armpits & palms
Hyperhidrosis is a medical term for excessive sweating, and a certified doctor can help you keep the problem at bay!
According to the Hyperhidrosis Society, botox has been proven to reduce underarm sweating. Not only the underarms, but the scope of these procedures have been extended to hand, back, face and nose too.
Botox. being a neurotoxin, works in this case by blocking the nerves responsible for the activation of the sweat glands. The nerves that signal the sweat glands are more active in people with hyperhidrosis, so when the botox is applied, it paralyzes the nerves concerned. Thus, reducing sweating.
6. Slim the shoulder muscle with that shot
Unbelievable isn’t it? When people are stopping at nothing to achieve the body of their dreams, why should science? Turns out you can contour your shoulders too with botox.
This process is referred to as the Trapezius botox. It targets the trapezius muscles present in the shoulder, whose job is to help in the movement of the shoulder and neck. The botox in this case is injected into the upper shoulder (trapezius muscle) directly to relax the muscle. It is safe and will not affect your neck or shoulder movement.
6. Slim your calves too
One session of botox and there you are with your perfectly sculpted calves.
So far we have learned that Botox targets a particular muscle and in doing so, provides the needed results. In this case, the gastrocnemius muscles, the ones responsible for the definition and bulkiness of the calves are targeted.
The effects of the procedure usually start to show within 2-3 weeks. They last usually for 4 to 6 months. It is a safe procedure and shall not affect your normal walking or running. However, if you are wearing high heels, you may want to be more mindful.
As per the side effects, Botox has proved itself to be safe for both long and short term uses. It can only be dangerous when delivered in incorrect quantities. To avoid this, one must always have a word with a certified professional before undergoing the procedure.
Botox is an effective and useful substance in cosmetic treatment. It has become so popular in the industry that it has received the title of being a “Miracle Toxin”. Offering great results in removing wrinkles, it also renders various other benefits. We hope this information has helped you understand the procedures better! Lastly, a prior consultation before any procedure will help you make an informed decision.