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Botox is a common cosmetic technique used to relax the facial muscles. It's designed to smooth and tighten the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Our Ottawa cosmetic specialists provide 10 surprising facts about Botox that not everyone may know.

What is Botox?

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces a toxin that is used to make the medication Botox. It is the same toxin that leads to botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. While this may sound concerning, there has been plenty of research and testing done in order to allow doctors and cosmetic professionals to safely use it in small amounts to help treat medical and cosmetic concerns.

Botox injections function by paralyzing or weakening specific muscles or by inhibiting certain nerves. Depending on what you are treating, the effects can last anywhere from 3 to 12 months.

While side effects are uncommon, some of the most frequent adverse reactions include soreness, bruising, or swelling at the injection site.

Discovery of Botox

Have you ever wondered who created Botox? It turns out that the discovery was entirely accidental!

The incident occurred back in the 1820s when some Germans who had eaten some blood sausage became ill. A toxin known as "botulism" was found after these instances were thoroughly researched to try and identify the precise cause of the food poisoning.

This toxin, which is produced by bacteria, was researched and tested until it resulted in its first use as a treatment under the trade name Botox.

10 Things That You May Not Know About Botox

Here are some of the interesting things that you may not know about botulinum toxin:

1. Botox was considered for use as a biological weapon.

Botulinum toxin was one of the first substances to be taken into consideration for use as a biological weapon. Despite the fact that there were still a lot of unanswered questions regarding botulinum toxin during the time of the Second World War, it was a pivotal time for the first attempts to weaponize this toxin.

There was a great deal of research completed on all sides of the war regarding the potential use of Botox as a weapon, which lead to experiments and rumours about the potential threat of a successful biological weapon being created.

These studies resulted in a series of failures and myths around botulinum toxin weaponization. Yet, significant advancements came from military research, offering helpful information for the initial stages of the medicinal use of botulinum toxin in the years following the war.

2. Botox can treat depression.

According to estimates, 3.4% of people worldwide suffer from depression. Although this is a startling statistic, it's probable that you or someone close to you has dealt with the disease. Did you know that Botox has the potential to help ease the symptoms caused by depression?

 Experts still don't completely understand how Botox can be used to alleviate depression symptoms, but the general idea is that when you frown you send signals to your brain that can increase the feelings of negativity. Botox injections can help prevent the recipient from frowning as deeply which in turn may prevent those same impulses from being sent to the brain.

3. Botox can stop sweating.

Sweating is a vital biological process that enables the body to cool down when necessary. Most people only perspire when it's hot outside, but for some, perspiration is uncontrollable. The medical term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis. This condition can be caused by medications or underlying medical conditions, but sometimes happens for no reason at all.

One of the treatment options is the use of Botox for sweating. Botox blocks the nerve signals that stimulate the excessive production of sweat allowing the overstimulated glands to relax and decrease the amount of sweat produced.

4. Botox can relieve migraines.

For those that suffer from persistent migraines, there may be hope in the use of Botox for migraines.

There are seven areas of the head that your medical specialist will inject Botox to provide you with relief:

  • The bridge of the nose
  • The forehead
  • The temples
  • The back of the head
  • The neck
  • The upper back
Botox treatment for migraines includes 30-55 injections per session on average and will require repeat visits every 3 to 6 months.

5. Botox can help with chronic pain.

Botox can be used to treat targeted pain. It can also be injected into specific muscles to block certain nerve signals in order to provide relief from chronic pain symptoms.

The Botox injections for chronic pain are administered directly into the affected muscles to help with relaxation, with the most common being:

  • The neck
  • The back
  • Arthritis anywhere on the body
  • Tension headaches
While the use of Botox may not be the most conventional, it has been noted to be quite successful with minimal side effects.

6. Botox can ease overactive bladders.

Overactive bladder and urgency incontinence, especially urgency incontinence linked to neurological diseases, can both be treated with Botox injections into the bladder. It is typically utilized when other treatments, such as behavioural, exercise, and medication options, have failed to relieve symptoms.

Some of the benefits patients may experience with treatment using Botox include:

  • Reduction or elimination of episodes of urinary incontinence
  • Reduction or elimination of severe urgency
  • Reduction in the number of times you urinate during the day and night
  • Reduction in or elimination of pad use for urinary incontinence
  • Improved quality of life
Most patients experience a significant reduction in symptoms resulting in a greater quality of life.

7. Botox relaxes muscles.

One of the first documented uses of Botox was as a medical treatment for an eye condition called strabismus, a result of muscle dysfunction. By acting as a relaxant, Botox for muscles helps the affected area feel better and enables tissue to function properly.

It was found that Botox might also be used to treat other conditions, like neck and facial spasms, which frequently cause teeth grinding.

8. Botox is a safe procedure.

Let's face it: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different cosmetic procedures available today. Many nearly seem too good to be true, and in many cases, they are.

While every medical professional aims to provide the safest services possible there is always a risk involved. This also means that trust should be given to procedures that have undergone extensive research and testing.

Botox is a cosmetic procedure that has undergone rigorous testing, both laboratory and clinical, with a large number of studies to confirm both its safety and efficacy making Botox injections one of the safer options available today.

9. Botox is becoming more popular with men.

Botox used to be generally favoured by women as a form of treatment, but like with everything else in life, times are changing and the treatment is currently being chosen by more men than ever before. 

White-collar workers are a growing segment of the male Botox market since having a smoother, firmer face gives them an advantage in the workplace. Nonetheless, many men choose the treatment as well after being persuaded by their female spouses. Then, after seeing the outcomes for themselves, they often decide to return for subsequent Botox treatments when required.

10. Botox isn't permanent.

Treatment lasts an average of three to four months for most people, so doctors generally recommend a schedule of injections. Luckily, Botox is designed to be affordable and each procedure is intended to be quick and easy.

The frequency of treatments is affected by variables such as age, metabolism, and degree of activity.

The temporary nature of Botox makes it safer and more effective allowing you and your cosmetic specialist the opportunity to alter your treatment plan as your needs change.

In Conclusion

While many people might believe that Botox can only be used as a cosmetic procedure, its advantages extend well beyond that. It comes as no surprise that Botox is the most widely used cosmetic treatment, with benefits ranging from managing chronic pain to reducing depression. Learn more about Botox or other cosmetic treatment options at Pure Medical Cosmetics.

Are you considering getting Botox and would like to learn more? Contact our cosmetic specialists at Pure Medical Cosmetics for a consultation.

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