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Botox Cosmetic: From Death-Causing to Beauty-Enhancing Substance

It seems that some people, celebrities especially, have found the secret to defy the aging process, as they are able to maintain their youthful appearance despite their age. That means no forehead furrows, crows feet, frown lines and skin bands on the neck. Well, the secret is actually not a hush-hush thing anymore, as more and more are not just getting to know about it, but applying it to themselves – Botulinum Toxin type A, which is more famous under the trade name Botox.

Botox comes from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, a very toxic substance that causes botulism which, in turn, is a life-threatening type of illness. Despite its toxicity, physicians were able to conceive of ways that put botulinum toxin to good use, such as for therapeutic purposes; they also discovered that it was capable of blocking neuromuscular transmission for decreased muscle activity.

It is this capability of the botulinum toxin, to decrease muscle activity or stop the muscles from contracting, which made it really popular to medical and cosmetic surgeons. For if the muscles in a particular body part will cease from moving or contracting, that same body part will also cease from wrinkling.

Thus, on April 12, 2002, the use of botulinum toxin type A, to treat frown lines or wrinkles, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Botox Cosmetic, which is in injectable form, is directly injected into the muscles of the targeted part of the head to treat the lines that have formed there. This targeted part may be the: neck, where platysmal muscle bands are visible; forehead, where the wrinkles are; corners of the eyes, to treat the crow’s feet or the squint lines; and, the eyebrows, where more lines have become visible.

The effects of Botox Cosmetic usually last between four to eight months, thus a patient/client will need to have it injected into him/her again after its effects wear off. Only a very small amount of the medicine needs to be used due to the danger it may lead to in the event of an overdose. Thus, it is highly important that only a licensed expert, a surgeon, more preferably, administer it.