Botox is often associated with the cosmetic and dermatology industries as a temporary treatment for facial wrinkles. But it’s also used therapeutically to treat a wide range of conditions. Botox uses a toxin called onabotulinumtoxinA to temporarily paralyze a muscle by blocking specific chemical signals from reaching the nerves responsible for making the muscle contract.
Botox injections use a toxin produced by a microbe that’s responsible for botulism or food poisoning. But Botox injections are safe, given the toxin is in such a miniscule amount. Other products use slightly different toxins for the same types of benefit or treatment.
What Conditions Benefit from Botox Injections?
Botox temporarily reduces the appearance of crow’s feet, forehead lines and frown lines. It’s also used to treat medical conditions. Some of the conditions Botox treats include:
- Chronic migraines
- Adult spasticity, which is stiffness in the muscles of your arms and legs
- Blepharospasm or spasms located in your eyelids
- Pediatric upper limb spasticity, which is muscle stiffness in the arms of children ages 2 to 17
- Overactive bladder, in conjunction with certain neurologic conditions
- Primary axillary hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive underarm perspiration
- Strabismus or lazy eye to align your eye muscles
- Cervical dystonia, the abnormal and painful contraction of neck muscles, causing involuntary twisting of your head
What Can You Expect from a Botox Procedure?
Your skilled dermatologist at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY first diagnoses your condition. Then you both discuss the diagnosis, what to expect during the procedure and what you can realistically expect as a result. Trust your Medex doctors; they’re trained to know precisely where to place the injections to reduce the chance of side effects. The procedure involves:
- Your doctor reviews your medical history, which includes any other treatments in your past. Mention any medications you’re currently taking, such as blood thinners, muscle relaxants, allergy medications or sleeping prescriptions. Your doctor advises against Botox injections if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding or are allergic to dairy proteins.
- Your dermatologist may numb the area with ice or a topical anesthesia, but many people tolerate the procedure without it. Before the injections, your doctor may massage the area to be treated to relax the muscles, loosen the tissues and reduce your discomfort.
- Using a very thin needle, your doctor carefully injects the Botox into specific areas of your skin and muscle. The number of injections depends on the area being treated.
- After the injections, you’re able to return to most of your normal activities as soon as you leave your doctor’s office.
- You may be advised not to lay down for the first four hours after the procedure. Don’t massage or rub the area of injection for the first 24 hours. This keeps the Botox from migrating to a different area. You should avoid exercise for the first day.