Botox, while more widely known for treating glabellar lines, wrinkles, facial creases, lazy eye, and uncontrolled blinking, has been used to treat cervical dystonia, writer’s cramp, excessive sweating, achalasia, chronic pain, neuropathy, and migraine headaches. The full name for this neurotoxic protein is called the botulinum toxin.
Botox works to relax the contraction of muscles by blocking nerve impulses. The result is that muscles that can no longer contract, and so the wrinkles relax and soften. The effects usually last to six months and shouldn’t take longer than two to four days to take effect. Most patients require retreatment to remove wrinkles and lines as they begin to reappear, but after each injection the wrinkles return as less severe as the muscles are trained to relax.
The procedure does not require anesthesia and usually take just a few minutes to perform. The protein is injected into the muscle using a fine needle in order to minimize discomfort and maximize accuracy.
Health Risk Factors
Patients should avoid alcohol for a week before the injection to minimize the chances of bruising, patients should stop using aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks.
Some of the more common side effects of Botox injections are temporary bruising. Other possible side effects include headaches, respiratory infection, flu syndrome, nausea, heartburn, and Blepharoptosis which is the drooping of the upper eyelid.