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Everything you need to know about Botox

By: Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, APRN on August 15, 2017 — Written by Hannah Nichols
Source: Medical News Today
Website: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Botox is used medically to treat certain muscular conditions, and cosmetically to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscles. It is made from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Although Botox is a powerful poison, when used correctly, it has a number of applications.

In this article, we will explain how it works, what Botox is used for, and talk about any side effects and dangers.

 

What is Botox?

Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium from which Botox is derived, is found in many natural settings, including soil, lakes, and forests.1

The bacterium can also be found in the intestinal tracts of mammals and fish and in the gills and organs of crabs and other shellfish.

Such naturally occurring instances of Clostridium botulinum bacteria and spores are generally harmless. Problems only arise when the spores transform into vegetative cells and the cell population increases.

At a certain point, the bacteria begin producing botulinum toxin, the deadly neurotoxin responsible for botulism.

Neurotoxins target the nervous system, disrupting the signaling processes that allow neurons to communicate effectively.

 

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