Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that has been used successfully as a medicinal substance in neurology for many years. Botulinum toxin has become generally known as Botox, the active agent against expression lines. What exactly is botulinum toxin? And how is botulinum toxin used?
Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin that has been used successfully as a medicinal substance in neurology for many years. Botulinum toxin has become generally known as Botox.
At Botulinum toxin it is a neurotoxin - a poison that specifically affects nerve cells. Botulinum toxin occurs naturally and develops under low-oxygen conditions, especially in the soil.
But meat products such as sausage or canned sausage were also frequently affected by botulinum toxin in the past. Hence the name of the poison, which is derived from the Latin word "botulus" for sausage. The consumption of food contaminated with botulinum toxin often led to a serious nerve disorder, botulism, especially in the 19th century.
Botulinum toxin inhibits the signal transmission from nerve cells and thus leads to muscle weakness and even to the cessation of lung function. Thus botulinum toxin is considered one of the most powerful poisons. As early as 1822 the possibility was recognized that botulinum toxin could be used in small quantities as a medicinal substance against nervous disorders. But it was not until the 1970s that botulinum toxin was used for the first time as a drug against "squint".
Since then, botulinum toxin has been used to treat various nervous diseases. For some years now, botulinum toxin has been used increasingly in aesthetic-cosmetic medicine. Botulinum toxin is used here under the better known term "Botox" as an effective agent against facial wrinkles.
Got there Botulinum toxin into the body, this restricts the transmission of excitation from nerve cell to muscle. Depending on the dose of the neurotoxin, the muscle can only be moved to a limited extent or not at all and relaxes in this way.
During medical treatment, botulinum toxin is injected specifically into the relevant part of the body. Tiny amounts of the highly toxic botulinum toxin are used. In the muscle, botulinum toxin causes the messenger substance acetylcholine, which is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses, to be blocked. Due to the low dose and targeted application, only the desired muscle is affected.
He can no longer tense up as usual, while sensory perceptions such as feeling and touch are not influenced. Depending on the medical purpose and in what quantities botulinum toxin is used, the effects, which slowly build up, reach their peak after about ten days.
Then the nerves begin to recover and the effects of the botulinum toxin wear off before they can no longer be felt or seen after six months at the latest. A new treatment with botulinum toxin takes place as desired, need or necessity.
Its medical application finds Botulinum toxin especially in neurology. It is mainly used to treat certain movement disorders. For example, patients who suffer from cramps such as eyelid cramps, mouth, tongue, throat cramps, writer's cramps or vocal cord cramps can be treated with botulinum toxin.
Spastic syndromes such as equinus foot or cramps that occur after a stroke can also be treated with botulinum toxin. This can lead to a significant improvement in the disturbances. In many cases, such as eyelid spasm, the unpleasant nerve disorder may even temporarily disappear completely. However, botulinum toxin only works against the symptoms and must therefore be injected again as soon as the effect has wore off.
In addition, botulinum toxin is also used against complaints such as migraines, increased salivation and excessive sweating under the armpits. Most common, however, is the so-called "botox treatment" with botulinum toxin.
After the wrinkle-reducing effect of an injection with botulinum toxin was demonstrated in the early 1990s, botulinum toxin has enjoyed great popularity since its approval for the cosmetic sector in 2001. If a suitable, small dose of botulinum toxin is injected into the muscle under a mimic wrinkle, the muscle relaxes and thus smooths the skin over it.
Side effects of Botulinum toxin mainly concern an overdose, which must be avoided at all costs. Since botulinum toxin is a very powerful neurotoxin, an incorrectly given injection can cause serious nerve damage.
In addition, botulinum toxin must never get into the bloodstream. Patients who underwent "Botox treatment" complained of eyelid cramps, eye disorders and dry mouth as side effects. Furthermore, botulinum toxin, as a remedy for expression lines, can lead to facial expressions being restricted if injections are not used in a targeted manner, creating a mask-like effect.
Basically, when it comes to medical treatment with botulinum toxin, emphasis should be placed on the experience of the doctor, and it is also important to put yourself in knowledgeable hands when performing cosmetic surgery with botulinum toxin.