Almost everyone has heard of botox at some time in their lives, especially in its aesthetic application. But the fact is that most people are unaware of where it comes from, how it works or its interesting applications in medical treatments that go far beyond improving our appearance.
Botulinum toxin, also known as “botulinum” and commonly referred to as botox, is a neurotoxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is on its own merits one of the most powerful poisons that exist.
How does botulinum toxin work?
Botulinum blocks the release of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine), causing a temporary paralysis of the muscles. It has a paralysing effect on our body that can lead to death by suffocation or severe neurological diseases as a result of anoxia (an almost total lack of oxygen in body tissues or in the blood, which is produced in this case by blocking the patient’s respiratory function).
However, despite how scary the botulinum toxin can be, its numerous medical applications have, for many patients, led to a breakthrough in the treatment of certain diseases.
Medical applications of botulinum
The botulinum neurotoxin is especially indicated for the treatment and improvement of some neurological diseases. Obviously, the application of the toxin is always carried out in very controlled doses to help alleviate the pain and spasms against pathologies such as the following:
– Dystonia (body movement disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions, which can lead to a high rate of disability in patients)
– Urinary incontinence in the case of paraplegics
– Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the patient)
– Blepharospasm (involuntary muscle spasms of the eyelids)
– Tourette Syndrome (involving muscular hyperactivity)
– Sialorrhea (excessive saliva in the mouth)
The case of focal dystonia
Focal dystonia is one that affects only one muscle group or a single muscle. In this case the local application of toxin in specific doses can reduce spasms and also improve the patient’s quality of life.
How is botulinum applied?
The botulinum neurotoxin is first diluted in physiological serum and injected into the muscle that we want to treat with a syringe in a dose strictly recommended by the specialist. Whenever we submit ourselves to treatment with botulinum, we must be fully informed of the doses, check with our doctor about the possible side effects on our body and, as we always emphasise in this blog, commit ourselves to our treatment and health as much as the health professionals do.
At Best Doctors, we invite you to always put yourself in the hands of a qualified physician if you have a disease that may require treatment with toxins of this type. If you have any questions regarding your diagnosis, know that you can count on the best specialists in the world.