Botox is a technique of cosmetic injection; it is a popular approach that people are using to look younger. Botox treatments are designed to remove wrinkles, signs of aging and muddied patches of skin, particularly around the eyes, chin and forehead. Its probably the only form of wrinkle treatment that relies on bacteria as dermal fillers (skin stretchers) to be effective. It is a fast exciting way to remove wrinkles; however, before rushing out to get it done, here is some information to help point you in the right direction.
The name Botox derives from two scary roots, toxic and botulism; the latter is the bacteria that causes food poisoning, a serious (and, in the elderly, fatal) condition that even in its mildest stages can fell an individual for at least a day or more. However, even the malady of botulism has, like many other unpleasant things, a positive side. And serendipity played a great part in its current use today.
Make no mistake; it has deadly roots. Botox is derived from the botulism - based strain of Clostridium welchii, a form of bacteria so virulent that it can cause paralysis and death in its undiluted state. Even in its mildest form, when ingested through food, it puts the eater off his food for at least 24 hours (and it usually develops from the foodstuffs, especially red meats, left to cool slowly; even with modern refrigeration techniques, it still affects thousands a year).
Physicians had known for some time that there were forms of poison that killed by relaxation, such as strychnine, which kills by relaxing the heart muscles until death results from heart failure. But many scientists reasoned that the mildest and most - diluted injections of these substances might be beneficial for forms of paralysis. Some facial and limb paralysis cases had been treated with mild dilutions of poison to relax the paralyzed muscles for massage.
In the 1960's, scientists reasoned that bacteria - based substances might be used for other functions, particularly in relaxing facial areas that otherwise needed surgery. Botox was created and first utilized, after decades of experimentation, in the late 80's, as a medicinal compound, and as such it was instantly successful, despite the fact that it is indeed a poisonous chemical substance.
The doctors of the 80's used Botox for the alleviation of symptoms in such conditions as lazy eyes and crossed eyes (also known as strabismus), spastic neck (aka torticollis) and muscle contractions (dystonia). Even patients who were afflicted with uncontrolled blinking (known as blepharospasm) got relief with the use of the Botox compound. It seemed at the time that Botox was destined for exclusive use as part of a laboratory and medical health regimen. Then the serendipitous discovery occurred.
Quite by accident, it was found that infinitesimal amounts of this bacteria, injected directly under the skin, actually relaxed facial muscles to the point that wrinkles began, in some cases, to disappear; it was especially effective injected around the eyes and the skin folds that develop crows feet. The eye muscles, once injected, developed a sort of controlled relaxation, and the skin of the affected area actually smoothed out and gave a brighter and fresher appearance.
Thus, Botox was reborn as a wrinkle reducer, and is presently being used to reduce, and in some cases erase, wrinkles all around the facial area. At first, cosmetic surgeons, unwillingly to inject toxins near the eyes of a patient, played it safe, and used Botox for the most severe frown lines that are set as indentations along the brow and around the nose. But, once patients got over the initial nervousness about having injections near the eyes, it proved to be very effective in those wrinkled optic edges, as previously noted, and it also smoothed out and often removed wrinkles in the forehead.
Botox treatments are presently being used by over 2.6 million patients a year, a tribute both to the benefits of poison and serendipity.