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While it's use is somewhat controversial in our society, Botox is used an estimated 1 million times each year in America. That is not to say that 1 million Americans use it per year, just that there are 1 million injections annually in the United States. Botox is a drug that is derived from a bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. Shockingly, this bacterium is the same exact bacterium that causes food poisoning. Not only that, it's the type that causes a very specific type of food poisoning that is life threatening. And to think we actually inject this stuff into our faces! Fortunately this fatal type of food poisoning cannot be contracted from Botox injections.
There are a variety of uses that doctors use Botox to treat, should a patient wish to go that route. The most common treatment by Botox is reducing wrinkles in the face, followed closely by excessive perspiration in the armpits, cervical dystonia, rapid and erratic blinking of the eyes and even uneven eyes or eyelids. Botox works by paralyzing various muscles and blocking some nerve connections for up to 6 months at a time.
Botox is injected into the affected area with a small needle and the full effect does not occur for 5 to 7 days after the injection. Contrary to popular belief there is only minor discomfort felt by patients who receive a Botox injection(s). Most people think doctors use a huge needle and the experience is a painful one. The only severe pain that can occur is subsequent to the injection, usually 3 days to a week later. In rare cases some patients have severely adverse reactions to an injection, which may include extreme swelling, migraines, temporary but painful bruising, nausea, flu-like symptoms and even sagging of the eyelids. As you can probably already tell, you really need to be sure that Botox is right for you because there's a lot that can certainly go wrong and it is by no means a natural procedure.
Your doctor will likely tell you, but patients who are pregnant, nursing or have certain neurological disorders should stay away from a Botox injection as it can cause severe and lasting complications. If you are considering Botox as a cosmetic aid, be sure you conduct thorough research, ask a lot of questions and know everything there is to know about the treatment. If you really want to reduce wrinkles you should stay away from prolonged exposure to sunlight and think about using wrinkle-reducing creams or ointments as an alternative.