Botox is a protein substance that is produced by a bacterium scientifically known as clostridium botulinum. Botox has traditionally been used by ophthalmologists to treat eye problems related to eye muscles. Botox has the effect of relaxing eye muscles. Botox is also widely used in treating cervical dystonia, a condition common in some women that is characterized by contraction of neck and shoulder muscles. In addition, Botox enjoys America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as treatment for frown lines that appear between eyes and excessive sweating on the face.
Apart from the treatments that have been approved, Botox is also used off-label for the treatment of varied other skin problems. It is injected into the facial skin to get rid of wrinkles. It is also commonly used for improving depressed eyebrows. Generally, Botox is used in combination with other treatments such as lasers and fillers for the purpose of enhancing overall treatment results.
The use of Botox however presents varied side effects that some women do not prefer to have. Although the side effects are generally minor, long-term receipt of Botox injections can cause immobilization of the face. Other likely side effects include facial muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, nausea, dry mouth, sore throat, tooth problems, Botox resistance, high blood pressure and difficulty in breathing amongst other side effects. Some of the side effects such as difficulty in breathing are emergencies that require immediate medical attention.
Alternatives to Botox Injection Treatment
The fact that Botox can present adverse side effects makes it very necessary for those who regularly receive Botox injections to look for safe alternative treatment methods. Apart from the side effects, another factor that may force one to look for an alternative treatment is cost. Botox treatment is very costly, considering the fact that one needs to go for repeated treatment after a determined period. There are various alternatives to Botox injection treatment. Such include:
- Topical applications – Various topical formulations have of late been availed into the market as safe alternatives to Botox injections. With realization that consumers are well informed and therefore carefully choose the creams they buy, manufacturers now use safe ingredients in their formulations. This has seen many creams and other skin care products get approved by relevant health authorities. One of the topical alternatives available is that which contains Botulinum Toxin Type B (Botox injection is type A). It is available by various brand names and is now commonly prescribed by dermatologists to Botox-resistant patients.
- Myectomy surgery – Otherwise known as corrugator Myectomy or simply as corrugator excision, Myectomy surgery involves cutting and therefore disabling the eye muscles that draws eyebrows down. This in effect prevents formation of lines on facial area. In some cases, the corrugators muscle is totally removed.
- Other treatment options – Other alternative treatment options for Botox injections that are becoming very popular include such treatments as face lift, eye lift and brow lift. Laser resurfacing and injection dermal fillers are also becoming popular.
A new treatment that is now emerging as the most preferred alternative to Botox injections is the Relaxed Expression treatment. Otherwise referred to as REX, the treatment involves the use of targeted radiofrequency energy to weaken motor nerves that connect to the muscles on the forehead. It is these muscles that are responsible for frowning. Although the treatment follows that of Botox injections, the practice differs.