Clostridia botulina bacteria produce a class of chemical compounds known as “toxins”. The Botulina Type A Toxin (BOTOX) is processed and purified to produce a sterile product suitable for specific therapeutic uses. Once the diluted toxin is injected, it produces a temporary paralysis (chemodenervation) of muscle by preventing transmission of nerve impulses to muscle. The duration of muscle paralysis generally lasts for approximately three to four months.
BOTOX has been approved to treat certain conditions involving crossed eyes (strabismus), eyelid spasm (blepharospasm), cervical dystonia (spastic muscle disorder with the neck) and motor disorders of the facial nerve (VII cranial nerve). As of April 2002, it has been FDA-approved for the cosmetic treatment of forehead wrinkles and crows feet caused by specific muscle groups. Other areas of the face and body such neck bands may be treated in an “off-label” fashion. BOTOX has also been used to treat migraine headaches, colorectal disorders, excessive perspiration disorders of the armpit and hands, and musculoskeletal pain disorders.
BOTOX injections are customized for every patient, depending on his or her particular needs. These can be performed in areas involving the eyelid region, forehead, and neck. BOTOX cannot stop the process of aging. It can however, temporarily diminish the look of wrinkles caused by muscle groups. BOTOX injections may be performed as a singular procedure or as an adjunct to a surgical procedure.