Botulinum Toxin Type A, according to many people is an exciting way of treating wrinkles. However the treatment which is known as Botox® has been used over the years to treat other cosmetic conditions such as muscle spasms on the face. This is what led to it being recognized as a treatment that can treat facial wrinkles. What is Botox®? It is just one brand of the Botulinum Toxin Type A that is produced by the bacteria clostridium botulinum. This product is produced by the Allergan, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical company. The bacteria are considered harmful and life threatening and can lead to muscle paralysis or weakness. However Botox® treatment is quite safe especially when used in small doses and injected directly to a specific area.

How Botox® Works:  Botox® works by blocking the release of a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) which is formally known as acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter found in the nerve cells usually transmits a nerve impulse to a muscle cell and causes it to contract. With the absence of acetylcholine the muscle cell is weakened leading to paralysis of the muscle. The Botox® injection is restricted to the area under treatment simply because the effect is temporary and the nerve fibers have the capability of regenerating after a few months.

The use of Botox® Injections: They are used to treat various medical conditions that include: • Muscle spasms in the face or other localized area • Twitching of the eyelid (blepharospasm) • Muscle spasticity • Muscle spasms in the neck (cervical dystonia) and • Proper alignment of the eyes (strabismus)

Botox® injections are also used to reduce excessive underarm sweating. This is done by blocking the action of the nerve cells that control the sweat glands. By being injected directly on the underarms they can treat localized hyperhidrosis.

In cosmetics treatments they are used to treat the vertical frown lines which are referred to as glabellar lines. These are found between eyebrows and are caused by the contraction of muscles when one frowns, squints or concentrates. Other lines such as crows feet (lines found at the corner of the eyes) and horizontal lines at the forehead can also be treated with Botox® injections.

Botox® Treatment for Jaw Tension and TMJ:  Increasingly, Botox® is used as an alternative treatment for TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) disorders and associated jaw tension and pain. When injected into facial muscles afflicted with soreness and discomfort, Botox® relieves TMJ and jaw tension for many patients. The injections often eliminate headaches resulting from teeth grinding, and, in cases of severe stress, Botox® can even minimize lock jaw. Although Botox® treatment for these conditions is presently experimental, evidence indicates that it can be extremely effective.

How Does Botox® Treat Jaw Tension and TMJ Disorder?:  Located on both sides of the head at the point where the jawbone meets the skull, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is used during talking, eating, swallowing, and other everyday activities. If this joint becomes displaced or is overworked through excessive teeth grinding, a person may suffer severe tension headaches, as well as sharp pain in the jaw. Botox® relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.

The Botox® alternative treatment for TMJ disorders and jaw tension is usually quick, straightforward, and effective. A non-surgical procedure, Botox® injections are administered in a doctor’s office, and treatment requires no hospital stay. Most patients experience noticeable improvement within one or two days of their first treatment, although relief can take up to a week.

How Botox® Injections Treat Wrinkles Botox®: injections treat wrinkles on the face by weakening or causing paralysis of the muscles found on the face and pulling the skin. After about a week after the injections, the wrinkles and lines start disappearing. However this does not limit one from forming facial expressions.

The Lasting Period After the injections and the disappearance of the wrinkles and lines, one can have an improved appearance for up to 6 months before having the treatment repeated. However with continued use, the effects of the injections last longer.

A number of patients who use the Botox® injections end up developing antibodies that neutralize the effect of the injections resulting to ineffective treatment. This only happens when they repeatedly use the treatment.

How safe are Botox® Injections?: When administered by medical professionals with a lot of experience in the treatment, the Botox® injections are quite safe. There are some mild and temporary side effects are associated with the treatment. These include pain, bruising and tenderness associated with the Botox® injection. It is common for most people to experience a slight headache right after the treatment is administered. Others also experience nausea and flu symptoms.

One of the significant side effects of the treatment is the risk of a drooping eye for a few days. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this treatment. Just like other medical treatments there are benefits and side effects that come with this treatment.