BOTOX: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

By  //  January 27, 2013

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Miracle Or Culprit?

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In April 2002, the FDA made Botox official and declared it was safe for cosmetic purposes.  

Botox parties are becoming commonplace, including right here in Brevard County despite concerns. (Shutterstock image)

According to the FDA it was only allowed for therapeutic usage prior to that date to control issues such as muscle spasms, cervical dystonia and other similar issues.  Upon approval, most aging people that couldn’t stand the inevitably of developing fine lines and wrinkles found Botox to be a miracle to the rescue that delayed or even dismissed the notion of going under the knife.

“Some 11.8 million Botox procedures have been administered in the United States since 2002,” says website botox.com

But despite masses of people jumping on the Botox bandwagon, the question remains, is Botox, whose main ingredient is a neurotoxin, 100 percent safe and effective?

So let’s wrinkle out the issue about Botox.

It is no secret that if you eat foods containing neurotoxins such as Clostridium botulinum you may become very ill, poisoned, paralyzed or even die from botulism. Surprisingly, Botox is made of Botulinum toxin A which is one of the neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum.

The Botulinum toxin A attacks the protein that helps trigger the muscle basically interrupting the brain from telling the muscle to contract. Therefore, if your muscles don’t contract, the skin is unable to wrinkle.

Please note that in order to work properly as it was intended to, the injections must be strategically placed in specific muscles.  Botox should be administered only by a highly trained and qualified practitioner.

Within days of Botox injection, wrinkles will diminish or disappear and the results will last up to four months, leaving your brows perked, forehead smooth and even your eyes looking youthful.

Most people after reading that are sold, but what happens when injections don’t exactly give you the results you were dreaming about?

We don’t always hear about things that could go wrong including the dreaded frozen face or Spock eyes that comes from overuse and/or bad application.

Actress Nicole Kidman admits to frequent use of Botox. (image courtesy of thebeautystop.com)

Using Botox may lead to unintended side effects. (Image courtesy of thebeautystop.com)

Side effects

The Botox official site lists these possible side effects:

• Dry mouth, discomfort or pain at the injection site , tiredness, headache, neck pain, eye problems such as double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids, swelling of your eyelids, and dry eyes, allergic reactions that  may include: itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, because of weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months.

• Spread of toxin effects. Botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice (dysphonia), trouble saying words clearly (dysarthria), loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities.

Botox parties are becoming increasingly popular everywhere, including here in Brevard County.

In some cases, these trends have led to unqualified practitioners administering Botox and putting the consumer at risk.  Dr. Oz warns to be careful of Botox bodgers, and urges everyone to think about their safety when choosing a practitioner.

Doctors advise that Botox should only be administered by practitioners who have well documented qualifications and those who are very familiar with facial anatomy. (Image courtesy of allvoices.com)

Qualified practitioners

He advises everyone not to be taken in by business titles and only rely on practitioners who have well documented qualifications. It is also advisable to use only practitioners who are very familiar with facial anatomy.

Also frighteningly on the same special, Dr. Oz did a test to see who wouldn’t do their homework when it comes to bad Botox.  A Dr. Oz producer placed an advertisement in a window of a New York City store to promote a one-day special on Botox.

While they received many inquiries they chose to feature a lady named Katherine who walked in, ready for the Botox Special.  When they revealed to her that it was just a test to see who would fall for a Botox scam, she was shocked.

On the contrary, things can sometimes go somewhat awry with even the most experienced practitioner.

We observed this on a past season episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians when 29-year-old Kim Kardashian’s Botox around her eyes gave her an adverse reaction of swelling and dark circles. Although her side effects were temporary, they were still there and very concerning.

According to Allvoices.com, Kim went in “anticipating the perfect face-lift via magic toxin can do, (and) she had a rather nasty reaction after the Botox treatment with itching and watery eyes.”

As with anything, know your facts before undergoing any beauty treatment or procedure. When it comes to beauty, knowledge is the power that allows us to weigh risk versus benefit.

While there are some risks with Botox, it can be one of the most powerful weapons in your beauty arsenal that will keep everyone wondering how you always look so youthful and fresh.


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