How Does Botox Affect the Nervous System

Updated on April 28, 2020

Botox has been a hot topic since it was first discovered and used in the 1980s. It has long been used to treat muscular disorders and was recently approved in the early 2000s for cosmetic uses. Botox works directly on the nervous and muscular systems to not only prevent wrinkles, making you look amazing, but also for those who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders that are difficult to treat. 

How Does Botox Work?

Botox is derived from a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. In more than minute doses, this bacteria is a toxic component that causes paralysis. However, when diluted and used under strict medical supervision it has amazing effects for a variety of conditions. 

  • Botox was approved initially for the treatment of conditions like uncontrolled blinking, cerebral palsy, muscle spasms in the neck, and even lazy eye. The patients were able to have relief of their symptoms thanks to the relaxing of the muscles. 
  • Botox works by paralyzing the muscle. It stops the conduction of signals from nerves so they cannot travel to tell the muscles to move. This makes it so the muscles are unable to contract. 
    • This stops the pain from associated conditions and allows relief. 
    • Cosmetic injections prevent the muscles from contracting- thus stopping the formation of wrinkles and lightning current wrinkles. 
  • The paralysis can last anywhere from 3-6 months.
  • The results are seen within the first 3 days after treatment and are well tolerated by many individuals. 

The bacteria for the bacteria can be found naturally in many places such as lakes, forests, soils and even within mammals and fish. Thus the products are naturally derived and safe when using professional and FDA approved brands of the drug. 

Is Botox Safe?

Absolutely! Because the amounts used in all the injections are very small and diluted, there isn’t enough of the toxin built up to cause severe effects in patients. While it sounds scary that it can travel through the nerves and to your nervous system, it doesn’t manifest symptoms in patients in short or long term studies. 

  • Studies have been conducted on the long term and short term uses of the medication with minimal effects found. 
  • Recently, scientists found that it does travel along the nerves through the nervous system, but gave no ill effects to any of the patients the researchers spoke to.

Side Effects

Botox has long been used for medical and cosmetic purposes with little side effects being reported. For those that do experience effects, they report:

  • Pain at the site of injection or bruising
  • Headaches
  • Cold/flu-like symptoms
  • Uneven facial muscle strength- drooling, uneven eyebrows, uneven eyelids, eye dryness

Many note some pain at the site of injection, but this fades quickly. The reported effects are often within the first day after injection and ease up significantly after two days. With the relief of muscle dysfunction being life-altering, it makes a temporary discomfort liveable for a long term relief. 

Uses of Botox

Since Botox affects how the nerves’ signals travel and the interaction with the muscles, there are many approved medical and cosmetic uses for the injections. Injectable treatments are the way that the medication is administered and it is given at the site where the problem exists. 

Medical Uses 

  • Lazy/misaligned eye (strabismus)
  • Uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm)
  • Uncontrollable spasms in the neck (cervical dystonia)
  • Underarm sweating (severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Botox for Migraines
  • Overactive bladder
  • TMJ

Cosmetic purposes

  • Botox for lips
  • Face sculpting
  • Eyes (for cosmetic reasons such as bags, dark circles, or drooping)
  • Sweating
  • Wrinkles and fine lines

Botox has been used for nearly 40 years to treat medical conditions that debilitate individuals from muscle dysfunctions, pain, and contractions. Using this product allows the nervous system stimulus to be blocked and give relief to the individual. For cosmetic reasons, it allows the muscles to relax and prevent the formation of wrinkles and smooth the face. There are very little reported effects and using this natural component is a great way to not only get relief but also to shape your body

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