Botox: a safe and fast option for medical and aesthetic treatments

Botox has varied applications in medicine, both for diseases and for aesthetic reasons. Discover its ways of use in this article.

Last update: September 22, 2021

The first thing you have to know is that Botox ® is the trade name by which botulinum toxin has become better known. So to answer what Botox is, we should say, not without surprise, that it is nothing but a neurotoxin.

But what is a neurotoxin? For that we have to clarify that there is a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. When it finds a host (a human or an animal), it is the cause of a disease known as botulism. This pathology can manifest itself with weakness, blurred vision, nausea or paralysis. If left untreated, it is deadly.

Said bacteria releases a neurotoxin that acts at the level where the nervous system joins the muscular, blocking the impulses involved in this communication, which explains the symptoms of this disease. But don't be scared. Now we come to botox and its medicinal application.

The medicinal application of botox

Botulism is a rare disease, but it can be serious. The two most common ways of contagion are after eating food stored in environments with little oxygen (home canning, for example) and on the edges of wounds when coming into contact with the bacteria.

Once the paralyzing effect of this bacterial toxin is known Clostridium botulinum, science has worked with it to modify it, make it safe and turn it into a drug. Thanks to the effects it produces from paralysis, it can trigger satisfactory results.

This botulinum toxin has been shown to have therapeutic utility and has given great results in neurological diseases associated with muscle hyperactivity. In the field of aesthetics it has become famous worldwide.

Who cannot apply Botox due to contraindication?

Due to its high security and being a local treatment, contraindications are usually minimal. Although being prudent, the drug would not be indicated in the following people:

  • Allergic to neurotoxin or its excipients.
  • Pregnant
  • Lactating women.
  • People with neuromuscular diseases.
  • Under 18 years of age.
Pregnant women are a group that should not receive botox therapy.

How long does the effect of Botox last on the skin?

One of the few buts What seems to be attributable to botox is that its effect is not eternal. Results are obtained that are reversible over time, lasting around 4-6 months.

The usual thing is that after 3-4 months the effects gradually diminish. So if you want to keep them for medical or aesthetic purposes, there should be a reminder dose. With repeated injections, changes last longer and sessions may be spaced.

How does botulinum toxin work when injected?

This relatively simple technique does not require an operating room. It does not cause pain, except for the slight discomfort of the prick with the fine needle. It can be done at any time of the year, as weather conditions do not influence the results.

It does not usually produce side effects and its effects are practically immediate. With Botox, when injected into a specific area, relaxation of the muscles in the area is achieved, which on the face translates into a transformation to a smooth and toned skin, reducing wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin weakens, even paralyzes, certain muscles. This is due to the nerve block that occurs in the area.

Although it is a simple technique, they have to be done by trained and qualified professionals. This treatment does not require anesthesia, as it is administered with a very fine needle.

The best known use is for aesthetic purposes, especially on the face, since it treats and minimizes wrinkles and expression lines, obtaining facial rejuvenation, correcting sagging of the face and neck.

At a medical level (and especially in the field of neurology), botulinum toxin is proving to be a promising treatment, since it has been proven effective in addressing excess sweating (hyperhidrosis). To do this, it is injected into the armpits or the palms of the hands or feet, which reduces sweat gland activity.

It is also a ray of hope as a treatment or supplement for people with chronic migraines who do not respond well to the usual oral treatments. At the ocular level, for the correction of strabismus (deviation of the eyes) or in blepharospasm, which is the involuntary contraction of the eyelids.

In paraplegic people, Botox is giving good results in the management of urinary incontinence.

Side effects of botox

This is a treatment quite safe and with very few side effects. Now, as we have mentioned, its administration must be by trained and educated people. For example, aesthetically, a puncture in an area that is not correct can trigger an expression that is not the desired one.

Sometimes, after the puncture there may be symptoms such as small redness (erythema) in the area. Above all, in people who do not follow the recommendations that must be followed after the puncture. An unwanted diffusion of the toxin then occurs, affecting untreated muscle groups.

Most noticeable is the unwanted facial expression. It can even cause a reversible drooping of the upper eyelid.

Before applying Botox, it is advisable to avoid taking anti-inflammatories and not to consume alcohol.

How long does it take to see the effects of botox?

The good thing about Botox is that it is a fairly safe technique, with almost immediate results and few side effects. The results that appear immediately after the puncture are already visible after 48 to 72 hours. The maximum effect is obtained 15 days after application.

Botulinum toxin is safe to apply, as long as the technique is guided by professionals.

What care should be taken after the procedure?

In principle, and due to its high safety, it is not necessary to take great care after the application of Botox. In fact, the usual thing is that the person can return to their normal life normally.

Although it is true that the following recommendations should be followed:

  • Do not massage the area for the next 24 hours. We do not have to exert pressure and, therefore, we would have to avoid resting our hands on the forehead, putting on sunglasses or wearing motorcycle helmets.
  • Avoid swimming pools and saunas.
  • Avoid intense physical exercise or other activities such as yoga, which can make us have to lie on our stomach.
  • Do not gesticulate exaggerating facial movements. In this way, we ensure that the botox is better distributed within 4 hours of its application.
  • It should not be placed in a horizontal position within 4 hours of the puncture.

You see that it is a safe technique. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if you are interested in receiving it or need advice on the precise indications for your particular case.

We thank SAVIA for its collaboration in providing information for the realization of this article.