Botox is made from toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Doctors use it in small doses to treat health problems. It is now routinely used by plastic surgeons to soften facial lines by paralyzing the muscles beneath the skin, and is also used during surgery to immobilize muscles.
- Temporary removal of facial wrinkles
- Severe underarm sweating
- Cervical dystonia – a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions
- Blepharospasm – uncontrollable blinking
- Strabismus – misaligned eyes
- Children with cerebral palsy have been shown to benefit from injections of botulinum toxin (botox), the toxin, which is injected into calf muscles, can help youngsters to walk better.
The muscles of people with cerebral palsy often contract spontaneously and over-react to stimulation, a characteristic called spasticity. Injection of botulinum toxin helps to reduce spasticity and allows the person a greater degree of control over muscle movement.
Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to four months.
Side effects can include pain at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, headache and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids.