Botulinum toxin type A (trade name: Botox) is an injectable drug that causes temporary muscle weakness. It is FDA approved for the treatment of strabismus (crossed eyes), blepharospasm (twitching of the eyelids), cervical dystonia (a neurological movement disorder) glabellar frown lines (facial wrinkles), and most recently for primary focal hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms, hands and/or feet).

Botox may be used for the treatment of dynamic wrinkles of the face caused by contraction of the underlying facial muscles every time you smile, laugh or frown. Injection in certain areas of the face relaxes the muscles so they do not contract allowing the overlying skin to remain smooth and unwrinkled.

Botox injections have been used safely and effectively to treat ophthalmologic and neurologic disorders for over 20 years. The effects of the injections usually last four to six months.

Side effects are rare and would include temporary weakness of the nearby muscles, drooping of an eyelid or facial asymmetry. The risk and type of side effect depends upon the location of muscles injected. These side effects are rare, completely reversible and usually last a few weeks. Temporary and minor bruising may also be seen at the injection sites.

Botox’s advantage is a more youthful pleasant appearance without surgical intervention or significant downtime (time lost to recovery period after treatment). Patients who have sweating of the underarms, hands and feet find after Botox a large increase in social confidence (not sweating through shirts, shaking hands with dry hands, not smearing schoolwork/paperwork from sweat on their hands, ability to wear sandals again).

Patients may receive Botox injections and most can resume normal activities after injection.

Adapted from original source: AOCD

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