What is Botox?
Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction, thus causing flaccid paralysis.
What are the uses of Botox?
In cosmetic applications, botulinum toxin is considered safe and effective for reduction of facial wrinkles, especially in the uppermost third of the face. Botulinum toxin is also used to treat disorders of hyperactive nerves including excessive sweating, neuropathic pain, and some allergy symptoms. In addition to these uses, botulinum toxin is being evaluated for use in treating chronic pain. Studies show that botulinum toxin may be injected into arthritic shoulder joints to reduce chronic pain and improve range of motion.
Botulinum toxin is used to treat a number of disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement, including cerebral palsy, post-stroke spasticity, post-spinal cord injury spasticity, spasms of the head and neck, eyelid, vagina, limbs, jaw, and vocal cords. Similarly, botulinum toxin is used to relax the clenching of muscles, including those of the oesophagus, jaw, lower urinary tract and bladder.
Could Botox help with excessive sweating?
Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is caused by stimulation of the sweat glands by nerve endings which descend from higher centers in the brain. These nerves respond to emotional stresses; like intimate social situations, public speaking, physical stresses, and increased body temperature that comes with exercise or hot humid weather. Botox has been approved for the treatment of excessive underarm sweating which cannot be managed by topical agents. Botox injections use botulinum toxin to block the nerve signals responsible for sweating, stopping the sweat glands from producing too much sweat.
Could Botox help with Migraine?
Botox for migraine is now a common treatment. Sensory nerves carry pain impulses. They also secrete chemicals such as CGRP. CGRP has been shown to be strongly implicated in the cascade of migraine symptoms. When Botox enters the muscle, the muscle acts as a container to keep Botox around the sensory nerve, allowing it to be absorbed into the nerve. Once in the nerve, it decreases the release of CGRP and other chemicals involved in migraine.
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