Botox is the trade name for Botulinum Toxin-A, a product of the soil bacterium Clostridium Botulinum.

In days gone by when people used to preserve their own foodstuffs, “botulism” was a lethal poisoning that produced paralysis. Now this substance, properly used by an experienced professional, is our best friend. Used for several decades in the treatment of strabismus (or “crossed-eyes”) as a paralytic agent, its use in cosmetic procedures was found somewhat by accident; at the time, it was suspected that the substance could erase wrinkles. And thus began its use as a cosmetic product.

Now fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose, it is mostly utilized to reduce the wrinkles in the “frown area” of the forehead, and in the “laugh lines” about the eyes. It also has found usefulness to reduce sweating in the hands and armpits, and even to help treat migraine headaches.

For the consumer the most important consideration should be that the “Botox” you are receiving is approved and safe.  Most practitioners abide by the law and do not use unapproved materials. However, there have been instances where allegedly Botox has been substituted by unregulated materials with severe consequences. It is always prudent to have this injected by a licensed and experienced practitioner.

A very common misconception is that Botox acts as a filler and “plumps up” a wrinkle.  This is definitely not the case, and it must be understood that it acts only as a paralytic agent. It does not fill a wrinkle. It only works by paralyzing the muscle that produces the wrinkle. Other companies have jumped on the bandwagon and produce similar and effective forms ofBotulinum Toxin-A. However, I still prefer the original.