Botox: A Hit in the Cosmetic World
by: Robert Thatcher
Who would have thought that something that is supposedly poisonous could have so many people clamouring for it?
Scepticism proven wrong
When botox hit the market, many were sceptical on the effects of these newly developed chemical. A protein complex made from a bacterium called clostridium botulinum, many feared that the chemical will have the same effect on the skin as it has on the body. For those who do not yet know, botox come from the same toxin that can cause food poisoning in humans.
It turned out to be quite effective and a huge success especially in the cosmetic surgery business. It is also being used to relieve pain in muscle areas of people who have has chronic pains. It's actually so effective that people who were normally confined to their homes because of the pain now live normal lives.
Since botox inhibits the release of acetylcholine, a chemical responsible for the contraction of muscles in various parts of the body, it is primarily used to clear out wrinkles and frown lines in the face through injection in the areas of concern. The effect of the drug can last for several months. Only small amounts of the toxin are however used for these cosmetic procedures. Too much use of the toxin can produce disastrous side effects.
In 2001 alone, almost 1.6 million Americans have had botox injections in different areas of their bodies. This is a significant increase from 2000's figures. In fact, botox injections are even more popular than the immensely popular breast enhancement and breast augmentation procedures.
The procedure has become so popular in fact that people even organize parties and social events just for the occasion of injecting botox. This is actually part of the marketing campaign that has gained botox injections so many followers. Women (and men) who regularly inject botox for maintenance get together in small gatherings and simultaneously inject botox. Outsiders especially those who have not yet tried the drugs but are interested can join the party.
Abuse and overuse
One of the growing concerns in the industry is the potential abuse of the drug. Although botox is basically a prescription drugs, there are unqualified people who are distributing the medicine. And because the drug must be injected again and again to maintain its effect, there is also the danger of the drug being overused or for people to over-apply thinking that it will lengthen the effect of the drug.
Injecting too much botox or accidentally injecting it on the wrong area can cause droopy eyelid muscles, a condition called ptosis. This could last for several weeks. Other side effects that botox have are headaches, respiratory infections, flu-like symptoms and even nausea. Some people will also experience pain on the area where the botox was applied as well as redness and swelling. There can also be some muscle weakness around the area where the botox was applied.
Although botox is available to all people, there are some who are allergic to the toxin. So it is best that one consults a physician first before applying the drug. Although there has never been any studies or research on the effect of botox on pregnant women and on nursing women, medical people err on the safe side and just prohibit the drug.
About the Author
Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California.