It is actually very intriguing to note that Botox is one of the numerous trade names that stand for the neurotoxic protein known as Botulinum toxin A, produced by a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. In fact, it is the most common nonsurgical cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. This protein has been used to treat wrinkles, uncontrolled blinking, facial creases and lazy eye, but it can cause botulism when administered in large doses.
How Botox works
Selective muscle denervation is a medical term used to describe the action of Botulinum toxin A. Under normal conditions, a nerve sends a signal to the muscle to make it contract. The nerve meets the muscle at the point known as neuromuscular junction that releases a chemical component called acetylcholine when a nerve impulse gets to the junction. Actually, the release of acetylcholine causes several chemical reactions that cause the muscle to contract.
Ideally, this protein works by blocking the acetylcholine receptors on the muscle side of the junction. For instance, when acetylcholine is released (as explained earlier) it will not bind to anywhere on the muscle, and thus the muscle will not contract. This means that the muscle is essentially paralyzed but not as a result of nerve damage. However, it is vital to note that clinical effects of a Botox injection usually do not become evident until after a period of at 3- 5 days.
Botox and wrinkles
As mentioned earlier, the injection of Botox into a muscle that causes wrinkles when it contracts results in its paralysis, and hence this prevents wrinkles from forming. However, the effects are more pronounced for dynamic wrinkles or rather the wrinkles that only appear when the muscle contracts. Basically, it works to relax the contraction of muscles by blocking nerve impulses, and so the wrinkles soften and relax. It takes approximately 4 days for one to notice cosmetic improvements and the effects last about 3 months but may last up to 6 months. Botulinum toxin A does not get rid of wrinkles, but it only helps soften them.