Botox is perhaps the best-known non-invasive cosmetic procedure, widely used to reduce or eliminate facial lines and wrinkles, and is a highly effective way to rejuvenate your appearance. But despite its widespread use and great popularity, many people are quite unaware of what Botox treatments actually consist of. This post will discuss the science and history behind Botox.
Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that is found in soil and marine sediments. The bacteria produce spores that are often found on the skin of fruits and vegetables and in seafood. The spores are mostly harmless, but if allowed to grow under certain conditions, they can produce several highly toxic neurotoxins, including the Botulinum toxin. Botulinum is the cause of Botulism, a rare but serious illness that can cause muscle paralysis.
How Does Botox Work?
The Botulinum toxin blocks the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This chemical is used in the body to carry messages from the brain to specific nerve cells. By carefully applying the Botulinum toxin to the nerve cells that, in turn, cause specific muscles to contract, it’s possible to block signals being sent to the muscles, and thereby cause the muscles that are responsible for causing unwanted lines and wrinkles to relax.
The Botox Product
Botox is the brand name for Botulinum toxin type A, a protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are actually several different commercial brands, each using different variations of Botulinum toxin type A, such as Dysport and Xeomin, but Botox is by far the best known.
Botox is derived from Botulinum under rigorously controlled conditions; it is highly refined and purified and then combined with other ingredients to form a precise low-dose solution that can safely be used for cosmetic purposes.
The final Botox product will only cause temporary paralysis of targeted muscles.
From Toxin to Treatment
The beneficial use of the Botulinum toxin was first investigated in the 1970’s. Initially, it was used to treat strabismus (crossed eyes) by controlling how muscles attached to the eye function. It was eventually approved by the FDA for this usage.
The cosmetic benefits of Botox were discovered purely by chance when patients being treated for eye disorders using Botox noticed the side effect that their facial wrinkles also became less evident. This became a subject for further research, and the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic uses in 2002.
Safety and Purity
It’s important to understand that the Botox product used for cosmetic purposes is highly refined and purified and is quite safe when used by qualified practitioners. It is also impossible to contract Botulism from Botox, regardless of the dose.
Despite this, to obtain the best results, especially while remaining natural-looking, it’s important to select your practitioner with great care. The best way to guarantee safe, effective results with minimal side effects is to select a medically trained practitioner who can demonstrate extensive experience performing Botox procedures.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care practitioners are medically qualified and highly experienced in performing Botox procedures. We also have extensive experience with a wide variety of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. We can help you choose the safest, most effective, and most cost-effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.