Botox Injections

1 What is a Botox Injection?

Botox injections are the leading group of known medications that use various forms of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity.

This toxin is produced by the microbe responsible for botulism, a type of food poisoning. Botox injections are primarily noted for their ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles.

They can also be used to treat certain conditions, such as neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder and lazy eye.

Botox injections can also be helpful in preventing chronic migraines in certain individuals. Botox was the first drug to use botulinum toxin.

Other products now include Dysport, Myobloc and Xeomin. Each is a little different, particularly when it comes to dosage units, this makes them unique and not interchangeable.

2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to receive botox injections.

Particular chemical signals from the nerves mostly signal that cause muscles to contract.

The most common use of these injections is to temporarily relax the muscles of the face that underlie and cause wrinkles, such as:

  • Frown lines between the eyebrows.
  • Crow's-feet, the lines that fan out from the lateral corners of the eye.
  • Forehead furrows.
  • Botulinum toxin injections are also used to treat conditions that affect how the body functions.

Listed examples include:

Cervical dystonia. In this painful condition, involuntary contractions of your neck muscles cause your head to twist and turn into an uncomfortable position.

Lazy eye. The most common cause of lazy eye is an imbalance in the muscles responsible for eye positioning.

Muscle contractures. Some neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can cause your limbs to pull in towards your center. In some cases, These contracted muscles can be relaxed with botox injections.

Hyperhidrosis. This condition is characterized by excessive sweating even when temperatures are not hot and you are not exerting yourself.

A chronic migraine. If you experience migraines more than 15 days a month, Botox injections may help reduce the frequency of the headaches.

Bladder dysfunction. Botulinum toxin injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence caused by n overactive bladder.

Eye twitching. Botulinum toxin injections may help relieve contracture or twitching of muscles around the eye.

3 Potential Risks

Botox injections are very safe when performed by an experienced doctor.

Potential risks and side effects may include:

  • Pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site.
  • A headache or flu-like symptoms.
  • Droopy eyelids or cocked-eyed eyebrows.
  • Crooked smile or drooling.
  • Eye dryness or excessive tearing.

Although very unlikely, it is possible for the effect of botulinum toxin to spread to other parts of the body and cause botulism-like signs and symptoms.

It is advisable to call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these effects hours to weeks after receiving botox:

  • Muscle weakness all over the body.
  • Vision problems.
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Loss of bladder control.

In general, doctors recommend against Botox during pregnancy or beast-feeding. Select your doctor with caution. Botox must be used only under a doctor's care.

It is important that injections be placed precisely in order to avoid side effects. Botox therapy can be harmful if it is administered incorrectly.

Ask for a referral from your primary health care doctor or look for a doctor who specializes in your particular condition and who has experience in administering Botox treatments.

A skilled and properly certified doctor can give you the right advice on the procedure and help determine if it best suits your needs and health.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In order to prepare for the botox injections procedure, tell your doctor if you have had botox injections within the past four months.

You should also inform them if you take muscle relaxants, sleeping aid or allergy medications.

If you take blood thinners, you may need to forgo them for several days before your injection, to reduce your risk of bleeding or bruising.

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your botox injections procedure.

Before the procedure. Most people have a good tolerance for the injection discomfort.

However, you may want your skin numbed beforehand, especially if your palms or soles are being treated for extreme sweating.

You doctor may put in use one or more of various methods available to numb the area such as, topical anaesthesia, ice and vibration anaesthesia, which uses massage to reduce discomfort.

During the procedure. Your doctor uses a thin needle to inject minute amounts of botulinum toxin  into your skin or muscles.

The number of injections required depends on various factors, including the size of the area being treated.

Botox injections are usually done in a doctor's office. After the procedure. You can continue your normal daily activities immediately the procedure is completed.

Take care, though, not to rub or massage the treated areas as this can spread the toxin to a different area.

6 Procedure Results

If you do not understand your botox procedure results, consult with your doctor.

Botulinum toxin injection usually starts working a few days after treatment.

Depending on the problem being treated, the effects may last three months or longer.

In order to maintain the effects, you will need regular follow-up injections.