Science News

Botox Treatments for Wrinkles

Sat, 15th Jun 2002

Part of the show Hauntings, ghosts and poltergeists - Psychical Researcher Tony Cornell

Botox is short for botulinum toxin which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum which causes a severe and often fatal form of food poisoning called Botulism. The toxin prevents nerve cells from communicating with muscles, leading to paralysis and often death. But delivered to the right place and in the right dose, botox is an extremely useful way to treat excessive sweating, spasticity in people with cerebral palsy and spinal injuries, and now wrinkles ! So how's it done ? When injected into the face in small amounts the botox prevents facial nerves from contracting the facial muscles which wrinkle the overlying skin, leaving you with smoother skin and fewer wrinkles. Short-term side effects include droopy eyebrows or puffy eyelids, in 1 to 2% of patients. Other rare problems include anaphylactic shock, which can lead to coma and death. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid this treatment. One problem is that the effects don't last for ever and the Botox has to be topped up every few months, and at £250 per treatment this could get rather pricey!

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