What is Botox and how does it work?
Derived from Clostridium botulinum, Botox is a neurotoxin that is medically used to treat specific muscular conditions. It’s also cosmetically used to remove facial lines and wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the underlying muscles.
When you go to the dermatologist for Botox treatments, you’re actually going for botulinum toxin therapy, which is also referred to as botulinum rejuvenation. Botox is a brand name for botulinum toxin type A.
Three of the most recognized brand names are:
At this time, there is no consensus regarding the cause of either the mild or severe headaches. Theories about the cause include:
- over-contraction of certain facial muscles
- technique error such as bumping the frontal bone of the forehead during injection
- possible impurity in a particular batch of Botox
Ironically, although some people experience a headache following a Botox treatment, Botox can also be used as a headache treatment: a
- taking an over-the-counter (OTC) headache remedy such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- reducing the dose of Botox the next time you have a treatment to see if this prevents a post-treatment headache
- avoiding Botox treatments altogether
- trying Myobloc (rimabotulinumtoxinB) instead of Botox
If you’re one of the 1 percent who experiences a severe headache and your headache doesn’t respond to OTC medication, see your doctor for a diagnosis as well as some treatment recommendations.