Popularity of Botox
Botox is perhaps the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the industry, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). In 2001, more than 1.6 million people received injections, an increase of 46 percent over the previous year. More popular than breast enhancement surgery and a potential blockbuster, Botox is regarded by some as the ultimate fountain of youth.
Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin that causes food poisoning, and is one of the most lethal neurotoxin on the planet. When used in a medical setting as an injectable form of sterile, purified botulinum toxin, it blocks the release of a chemical called acetylcholine that signals muscle contraction. By selectively interfering with the underlying muscles' ability to contract, existing frown lines are smoothed out within a week's time.
Botox was first approved in 1989 to treat eye disorders like uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm) and misaligned eyes (strabismus). In 2000, it was approved to treat a neurological disorder that caused severe neck and shoulder contractions, known as cervical dystonia. As an unusual side effect while treating eye disorders, doctors observed that Botox softened the vertical frown (glabellar) lines between the eyebrows that tend to make people look tired, angry or displeased. But until this improvement was actually demonstrated in clinical studies, Allergan Inc., of Irvine, California, was prohibited from making this claim.
By April 2002, most studies indicated that Botox reduced the severity of frown lines for up to 120 days.
Effects of Botox Treatments
Botox is currently being used by physicians to largely treat facial wrinkles. Botox treatments are meticulously scrutinized, and are largely safe to administer. Most companies promoting and marketing Botox, make use of unique promotional campaigns that are growing in popularity. Some practitioners buy the toxin in bulk and arrange get-togethers for people receiving their treatments. As in business, volume discounts can be found in medicine too.
Plastic surgery events known as Botox parties, seminars, evenings and socials dos are a key element of Botox marketing in the United States. These gatherings are thought to be a convenient means of providing Botox treatments more economically, and may help reduce the anxiety of the person who wants the treatment. Doctors are finding that treating people in groups allows them to make the procedure more affordable.
However, unqualified people have begun dispensing Botox in salons, gyms, hotel rooms, and other retail venues. In such cases, there are risks of improper technique, inappropriate dosages, and unsanitary conditions. Botox is a prescription drug that should be administered by a qualified physician in an appropriate medical setting.
Common side effects following the treatment include headache, respiratory infection, flu syndrome, and nausea. Adverse reactions include pain in the face, redness at the injection site, and muscle weakness. Although these reactions are temporary, in some cases they could last several months, depending on the sensitivity of the skin.
Battling against age, there are many who would want to repeat this procedure again and again, purely because they temporarily feel they have beaten the aging factor.