Botulinum Toxin Training
The Expert Training Required to Safely Conduct Botulinum Toxin Treatments
It is hardly too surprising that even a qualified and experienced doctor who may be planning to conduct treatments involving the injection of botulinum toxin will require training, given that this compound, which we more often refer to by its brand name of Botox™, ranks among the most powerful poisons known to man. What actually is surprising, however, is that it remains permissible for non-medical personnel in many overseas countries to study the various techniques and to carry them out without having any previous related clinical knowledge to call upon.
A member of the same genus of anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacteria as the causative organisms of tetanus, gas gangrene, and necrotizing enteritis, the species Clostridium botulinum produces the neurotoxic protein responsible for the symptoms of ptomaine poisoning or botulism. When suitably modified, the toxin offers those with the appropriate training some important clinical applications. Among them, the procedures that are likely to be best known to the general public are those associated with one of the more recent additions to the physician’s art – the discipline now referred to as medical aesthetics. Although often practiced by dermatologists, Botox™ treatments have also become a popular option for general practitioners who wish to extend their private practice and create an additional revenue stream.
In the aesthetics field, the function of the Botox™ preparation is to act as a muscle relaxant. When a suitably diluted dose is injected beneath the skin, most often that of the facial and neck regions, it acts to relax the tiny muscles whose previously contracted state was the cause of fine lines and wrinkles. This serves to temporarily restore the former smooth appearance in the treated area. Following a course of basic training in the use of botulinum toxin, a doctor should then be well positioned to begin performing this frequently requested procedure on his or her own patients.
Apart from its ability to smooth out wrinkles, this bacterial extract has a number of other applications. For example, the injection of tiny amounts, commonly in the forehead area, can help to limit the excess oil production that often leads to acne. An extension of this technique is often used to treat the condition known as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) that fails to respond to treatment, even with clinical-strength antiperspirants. When injected into affected areas, such as the underarms, palms, and soles of the feet, it blocks the nerve signals that would otherwise stimulate the sweat glands. Botulinum toxin training for this type of application will tend to be covered in a more advanced course once the basics have been completed.
One of the lesser known, yet no less valuable applications of Botox™ injections is in the treatment of bruxism, a condition in which the patient is affected by unconscious grinding of the teeth that leads to dental damage and, over a sufficiently prolonged period, may even result in widening of the jawline. To the uses already described, one can add procedures to lift the lips or the nose, to create a softer appearance around the chin and the jawline, and to restore the youthful texture of the neck and décolletage. Overall, such treatments amount to a non-surgical, mini-facelift, and for a doctor with the appropriate botulinum toxin training, the high demand for anti-aging treatments could provide a very lucrative opportunity to extend their patient care.
Given its intensely practical nature, aesthetic medicine is certainly not a subject that can be mastered online. Instead, learners are required not just to absorb the essential background knowledge, but also to gain hands-on practice under the close supervision of a current expert in the appropriate field. At the Medskills Training Academy, each course is limited to six attendees, in order to ensure adequate one-on-one attention and, along with the botulinum toxin training, the basic course also includes an introduction to the use of dermal fillers.