If you’re getting Botox you’ll want to have at least some idea of what you’re putting into your body. You should find out as much about the process as you can – it’s a big decision. As always a qualified professional should be abler to give you better advice than you can find online.
The main ingredient in Botox is actually a neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is basically a poison which has an impact on the nervous system. High doses would be deadly but low doses can achieve the effect needed for wrinkle reduction.
Botulinum Toxin Type A
The actual neurotoxin used is called botulinum toxin type A, it’s the active ingredient in Botox. An active ingredient is something which is responsible for the actual intended effect. The toxin in question is made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which is extracted using a fermentation process.
Botox also contains two inactive ingredients called human albumin and sodium chloride.
Human albumin is a common protein in blood plasma which is produced by the liver.
Sodium chloride is basically salt. This is used in the dilution process. Botox is supplied in a solid form. They come in capsules which have the botulinum toxin type A in them, so they obviously needs to be diluted so it can be injected into the body. A saline solution (a sterile solution of salt and water) is used in the dilution process which is how salt (sodium chloride) ends up in Botox.
Read a description in greater detail from the internet drugs index.
How Does this Make it Work?
This tiny amount of botulinum toxin when injected will block nerve activity in the muscle. This causes a temporary reduction in muscle activity lasting 3-6 months. The botulinum will attach itself to nerve endings. This stops neurotransmitters, which trigger muscle reaction, from working properly.
So the whole idea is that if the muscle isn’t capable of moving, then there won’t be any wrinkles. The messages from the brain just won’t get through. Understanding this can help you come to terms with the risks too. When people have breathing problems it’s usually from the Botox going somewhere it shouldn’t and stopping signals going to the muscles. If the muscle is important, then this can be dangerous.
Note – Dysport also contains near identical ingredients. The two products are very similar, although Dysport has a slightly lower protein load and has a different level of dilution. Read about the differences that matter to you. Dermal fillers contain very different substances.
Both products are FDA approved. Read about some of the aftercare associated with Botox.