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What is Botox?

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So, What Exactly is Botox?

This isn’t the usual first question that women ask when they’re considering Botox. They believe they already know the answer to this one. While some maybe do, most really don’t. So, allow us to give you the real scoop on this matter.

Botox is a brand name coined by Allergan, its manufacturer, for a product derived from Botulinum Toxin A. Yes, it comes from a neurotoxin that causes Botulism poisoning and can lead to severe paralysis and death.

Even with its infamous effects though, doctors have been using the toxin to treat these medical conditions since the 1980’s:
• lazy eyes (strabismus),
• uncontrollable eyelid twitching (blepharospasm),
• severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis),
• upper limb spasticity,
• involuntary neck spasms (cervical dystonia), and
• migraine headaches.

The cosmetic use of the toxin began in 1989 with the Carruthers spouses – a dermatologist-ophthalmologist team. They were the first doctors who explored the possibility of injecting small quantities of the toxin into specific facial muscles to reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. Since then, many scientists have jumped on the bandwagon to discover ways of safely harnessing the toxin’s natural effects for aesthetic purposes.

Let’s fast forward to 2002. FDA finally approved the use of Botox to treat glabellar lines or that nasty ‘11’ that appears between your eyebrows when you frown. This was momentous because it was the first time that the government gave the green light for the cosmetic use of the toxin.

Although the indication is limited to 1 cosmetic purpose, medical practitioners have been successful in the safe, off-label use of the drug for other areas of the face as well.

Just in case the words ‘off-label use’ got your warning bells ringing, let us assure you that this is a common practice in the medical field. Doctors are legally allowed to prescribe a drug for purposes other than what is approved by the FDA so, there’s really no reason to stress over this.

A concern that can reasonably cause strain, though, is safety. We’re going to hammer away at this right now and answer the million-dollar question:

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What is Botox