When people think of new fashion trends they normally think of clothes, but the newest beauty craze that has hit the middle age market is Botox. Botox injection therapy, although not completely new, has come out swinging since being approved for use in cosmetic improvements in 2002. Botox is used to eliminate the look of aging by reducing the appearance of wrinkles on the face, neck and hands. Most commonly, patients use Botox to eliminate crow’s feet around the eyes, wrinkles on the forehead, and frown or laugh lines. It has become such a popular and ‘user friendly’ alternative to traditional cosmetic surgery, many women and even celebrities host Botox parties to share the experience with their friends. Botox parties are held in private homes, in doctor's suites, at hotels and even spas. Celebrities such as Celine Dion, Cher, Madonna and even Sylvester Stallone are rumored to have gone under the Botox needle; but only a few such as Joan Rivers have credited Botox to helping their skin look younger. Although Botox has been promoted as the miracle cure for aging, for many people who suffer from debilitating disorders or chronic pain, it has proven to be a wonder drug.
So, what is Botox? Botox is the market name for type A botulinum toxin which is a purified form of the toxin produced by the bacteria, clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is commonly associated with food poisoning and is lethal in large doses. The botulism toxin could paralyze vital muscles needed for breathing. Although related to botulism food poisoning, the amounts of Botox given are so minimal and localized, that the toxin will not spread to any other muscles in the body, thus making it a safe and harmless procedure. When used cosmetically, tiny amounts of Botox are injected into wrinkles; they relax the surrounding muscles and smooth the skin. One Botox treatment can show visible results for three to six months. The Botox procedure is preferred to cosmetic surgery because it is non-surgical, safe, simple, and patients can return to full activity immediately after the procedure.
Today, Botox is not only used for beauty but is also used to treat a variety of problems, such as migraines, neck pain, excessive sweating, body odor, morbid obesity, carpal tunnel syndrome, stroke paralysis, incontinence and clubfoot in infants to name just a few. It has become a life savor for many people with debilitating disease or disorders. Using Botox as a medical treatment has recently hit close to home when my Mom was diagnosed two years ago with a rare vocal disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. The origin of this disorder was originally thought to be psychoneurotic, but in recent years it has become classified as a movement disorder of the larynx. Spasmodic dysphonia involves uncontrollable “spasms" of the muscles in the vocal cords that cause interruptions in speech which affect the quality of a person’s voice. In the more common type, adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD),...