Q:

What does Botox contain?

A:

Quick Answer

The main ingredient for Botox is botulinum toxin, which is a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Botulinum toxin is the most lethal toxin known to man; a single gram of it is capable of killing a million people, and a few pounds of the toxin can wipe out humanity.

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Full Answer

The bacterium Clostridium botulinum occurs almost everywhere in the world and is relatively harmless. It becomes dangerous when the bacterium starts to become vegetative and starts growing. Once the bacteria overpopulate, it starts to die off producing the dangerous neurotoxin. Botulinum toxin is known to cause botulism, which is a deadly medical condition in humans and animals.

The popularity of the Botox brand, however, stems from its ability to temporarily reduce wrinkles on the face. In extremely low and controlled dosages, injecting the botulinum toxin into specific muscles effectively paralyzes the target muscles, preventing them from contracting and from making the creases and wrinkles on the face.

More than just a treatment for wrinkles, botulinum toxin also has important medical applications. It can be used to manage or treat medical conditions such as chronic migraine, blapharospasm, idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia, strabismus, overactive bladder, cerebral palsy and Bell's palsy. The botulinum toxin is administered to patients by first diluting the powder in saline solution and injecting it directly into muscle tissue. The effects of the toxin can be felt and seen in 24 to 72 hours.

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