The Ecology of Humans (17-2) Botox


Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone. ~ American poet Dorothy Parker

The anaerobic soil bacterium Clostridium botulinum secrets a toxic protein – botulin – during sporulation, as protection for the spores. Botulinum toxin (botox) is the most powerful neurotoxin known, causing muscular paralysis and disrupting the autonomic nervous system in a wide range of animals, including fish, birds, and mammals.

Botulism is the paralytic illness caused by botox, brought on by ingestion or wound contamination. Infants are particularly susceptible to botox poisoning by eating contaminated food. Honey is a known risk factor, particularly for babies in the their 1st year, accounting for 20% of infant botulism cases.

All forms of botulism lead to paralysis that typically starts with facial muscles and spreads to the limbs. Severe cases paralyze the breath muscles, resulting in respiratory failure.

In 2002, the FDA gave regulatory approval for botox injections to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. There seems to be no wrinkle in governmental approval for medical self-abuse that is less than lethal and not mind-altering.

Botox injections, which temporarily mask facial wrinkles by inflammation and localized muscle paralysis, has become popular with vain women and men worldwide. Of those there is no shortage.

Botox injections account for half of the 11 million US cosmetic procedures, earning $2.7 billion in 2016. The American cosmetic surgery market altogether raked in more than $16 billion in 2016.

The risk and dangers of botox are well publicized. This anti-aging inanity is being successfully marketed to youngsters.

The effects of a botox injection may last up to 8 months; its effects are cumulative for repeated applications. Ironically, actors and actresses, who rely upon expressive facial muscles to show their skills, are high-profile users of botox “treatments,” desperately striving for that youthful look while decimating the capability of conveying their craft.