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Botox: An Easy Answer to Wrinkles and Crows Feet

The below article was written by Dr. Brian Peterson in a publication of Bliss.

Botox, does it work? Yes. Is it safe? Yes.

Botulism, the disease, is due to contamination of tissue by Clostridium Botulinum bacteria that produce up to 7 different toxins that eventually cause muscle paralysis starting in the head and neck area and progressing in a descending fashion to involve the limbs.  Because the diaphragm is also a muscle, paralysis of this leads to respiratory arrest and death.  The Clostridium bacteria may be found in contaminated wounds or ingested from contaminated food sources.

Botox is a commercially available purified protein used to selectively paralyze muscle.  Botox is actually a purified form of Botulinum A toxin that inhibits the release of acetylcholine from the neuromuscular junction of muscle.  When the release of acetylcholine is blocked, nerve impulses delivered to the muscle are blocked and therefore the muscle is unable to contract.  With time the muscle fibers atrophy, but never disappear completely.  As the bacteria that produce the toxin or spores that carry the toxin are not present, there is no risk of the substance spreading through the body, and causing generalized Botulism.  To date after millions of injections of Botox, no cases of disease have been reported.

Botox was first used for the treatment of spasm of muscle around the eye, and relaxation of increase muscle tone seen in diseases such as cerebral palsy. Other applications are for the treatment of hyperhidrosis or increased sweating which affects approximately 3% of the population.

After successful medical uses, its application has become more widespread and crossed over into cosmetic uses for unwanted frown lines and wrinkles caused by over active muscle activity.

Last year in the United States over 3.3 million Botox treatments were performed, and accounted for 28% of non surgical cosmetic procedures an increase of 16% over the previous year and a 5000% increase since 1997.  90% of those receiving the procedures are female. The most common areas treated are frown lines and crow’s feet.

Medical personal such as physicians and registered nurses with a thorough knowledge of facial anatomy, trained in the techniques of Botox injection, skilled and experienced are the best people to perform this treatment.

The effects of Botox initially last about 3 months, but with repeat injections this period may increase from 9 months to 1 year.  Treatments take 15 minutes, and there is no post treatment recovery period.  It may take 7 – 10 days for the results to take effect.  The average cost depends on the amount of Botox used, but typically ranges from $250 to $500.

Potential complications include bruising at the injection site and temporary muscle weakness if a nerve is penetrated with the injection or if too much Botox is injected at one site.

For more information on Botox or any facial cosmetic surgery procedure, contact Dr. Peterson in Kelowna, Okanagan, today on (250) 868-9099 or 1-888-505-8895.

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