What are botulinum toxins?

Botulinum toxins are neurotoxins that affect nerves and cause muscle paralysis. A bacterium called Clostridium botulinum makes these neurotoxins. Healthcare providers use a specific type of the bacteria (type A) for medical injections.

Botulinum toxins occur in soil and contaminated foods. If you consume large amounts of botulinum toxins or the bacteria get into a wound, you can develop botulism. This serious nervous system disorder affects breathing.

What are botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections?

Botox® is one of the most widely known brands of botulinum toxin injections. Healthcare providers inject small amounts of Botox or another type of botulinum toxins into specific muscles. This procedure can smooth wrinkles, prevent migraine headaches and treat other health problems.

Technicians develop botulinum toxins for cosmetic and medical procedures in a lab. Technicians dilute and sterilize the toxins so they won’t cause botulism.

What are the types of botulinum toxin injections?

There are different brand names for botulinum toxin injections. Not all products treat the same problems. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for your unique situation. Options include:

  • Botox® (OnabotulinumtoxinA).
  • Dysport® (AbobotulinumtoxinA).
  • Xeomin® (IncobotulinumtoxinA).
  • Jeauveau® (PrabotulinumtoxinA).

How do botulinum toxin injections work?

Repeated muscle contractions are one of the causes of wrinkles in the face. Botulinum toxins like Botox temporarily block nerve signals to muscles. As a result, injected muscles can’t contract (tense). They become weak or paralyzed. These effects can last for several months. The muscle injected is dependent on the area(s) of concern that you have. Several areas can be treated in one session.

What do botulinum toxin injections treat?

Providers use botulinum toxin injections cosmetically to improve appearance. Medical Botox injections treat health problems. These conditions include:

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