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Not Enough Is Known About Botox

2091 words - 8 pages

Thesis - Not enough is known about "the long term use and the long term side effects of the toxin, despite the fact that Botox has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration and is being used for a variety of medical conditions."

Everyday, as I go through the morning ritual of applying my make-up, the visible signs of aging are becoming more apparent. I see skin that is starting to sag and everyday, I swear, a new wrinkle appears. Of the many things I can find fault with on my aging face, the most bothersome are the deep creases between my eyebrows. For this reason, five months ago, I decided to check out my options for obliterating these deep valleys on my forehead. After calling several cosmetic surgeons in the Akron/Canton area, I learned I had only three options: brow lift (a major surgical procedure), laser skin resurfacing, or collagen replacement therapy. I wanted a less invasive treatment that had little or no recovery time, so I opted for the collagen.

Meanwhile, as I was watching television one evening, I learned of a new medical treatment for eliminating wrinkles called Botox; so, when I went for my collagen injections I asked my doctor about this new treatment. At that particular time, Dr. Pennington did not do the procedure, which involves injecting Botox into forehead wrinkles; however, he said he was going to learn to do the procedure, and would be offering it in about three months (which was just about the length of time my collagen would last). He suggested that I call him in October if I was interested. Fortunately the timing, and my desire for more information about Botox, coincided with this assignment. Ultimately, my research would determine whether or not I would actually have the Botox injections; therefore, I began my investigation with a list of important questions such as, what is Botox, what effect does it have on frown lines, how long does it last, and is it safe. In addition, considering it is a relatively new procedure, I wanted to know if there were other doctors in the local area who were performing this procedure and, most importantly, the price I would have to pay to undo my furrowed brow.

Through my research I found that Botox, the trade name for Botulinum Toxin type A, is a "neuromuscular junction blocking agent produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum" ("Botulinum Toxin"). In other words, Botox is derived from the same poisonous bacterium which causes botulism - a deadly food poisoning. The Botox works "by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which results in muscle weakness. It does not alter the muscle or the nerve, but prevents the relay of information between the two" ("Botulinum Toxin"). Therefore, Botox is beneficial in the treatment of wrinkles and frown lines because it causes specific muscles to relax, which in turn lessens the lines of facial expressions. Because Botox relaxes specific muscles, it is also used to treat a variety of medical...

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