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Botox injections can temporarily reduce some kinds of facial wrinkles.  Botox is the brand name of a purified form of botulinum toxin.  This is a potent paralyzing agent produced the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that can give you deadly botulism, but it doesn’t in tiny amounts.   It is generally considered safe and is less risky than plastic surgery.   

It has been used for decades to treat muscle spasm and other medical problems.  It is approved for excessive sweating under the arms and on hands, crossed eyes, eyelid spasms, and severe neck muscle contractions.  It is used off labeled for migraine and sinus headaches, , vocal cord problems, overactive bladder, post stroke limb spasms, arthritic pain, enlarged prostate.  They found that it could also reduce wrinkling by relaxing the small muscles involved in repetitive facial expressions, and was approved for eyebrow furrows in 2002.  It is used more for forehead creases and crow’s-feet.  Botox lasts about four months.  It does not work on fine wrinkles caused by the sun.

Be Aware

Anyone with a medical license, or a nurse or physician assistance under a doctor’s supervision can give Botox injections.  Seek a board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or other professional who has lots of experience.  Also the drug might be diluted or counterfeit.  Botox has a hologram, and other package features to ensure it is the real recoy.

Side effects are more likely to happen when using larger doses or with less experienced practitioners.  you can get temporary muscle weakness or paralysis near the injection site.  This can cause a droopy eyelid or brow, double vision, or asymmetry in features.  Do not be alarmed if you can not smile, because it commonly causes temporary loss in facial expressions.  Like any injection, you can have redness, bruising, mild swelling, and pain.  Allergic reactions (itching, rash, wheezing, asthma like symptoms) are possible. 

Last year the FDA said that Botox (and Dysport-which maybe longer lasting) has to display the warning label more prominently and doctors have to give the patient written material explaining the risks.  Serious, but rare reactions are problems swallowing and breathings.  The most serious problems were by off-label (not FDA approved) medical use.  For instance as in treating spasticity in cerebral palsy, where large amounts are used.  Get medical help immediately If you experience muscle weakness, dry mouth, loss of bladder control, double vision, or are having a hard time talking, breathing, or swallowing.  This may mean that the toxin has spread throughout your body.  There are no confirmed reports of life threatening reactions from FDA approved cosmetic use.

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