Botox is a toxin produced by botulism, a type of blood poisoning. Injected into the skin in very small doses, Botox reduces the appearance of facial wrinkles, while also treating various problems like neck spasms, excessive sweating, overactive bladder, chronic migraines and some causes of crossed eyes.
Botox injections block certain chemical signals from the nerves that cause muscles to contract. The aim of Botox is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that cause wrinkles. Botox injections are fairly safe when administered by an experienced doctor. If the injections are not placed correctly, the chemical may spread and cause problems such as:
- Droopy eyelids
- Skew eyebrows
- Crooked smile
- Dry or excessive tearing eyes
There is also a possibility that the effect of the Botox injection may spread to other parts of the body, causing serious problems, such as:
- Weakening muscles all over the body
- Vision impairment
- Trouble swallowing and speaking
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of bladder control
Botox injections block the nerve activity in the muscles, and can be used to treat cervical dystonia (severe spasms in the neck muscle), muscle spasms and stiffness in the upper or lower limbs, as well as to treat severe sweating. It can also treat eye conditions caused by nerve disorders, such as uncontrolled blinking or spasm of the eyelids, and a condition in which the eyes do not point in the same direction.
Botox is also used to treat overactive bladder and incontinence caused by nerve disorders such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. It is also used to prevent chronic migraine headaches in adults who have migraines for more than 15 days per month, each lasting 4 hours or longer. However, Botox injections should not be used to treat a common tension headache, or be used when there is an infection in the area in which the medicine will be injected.