- What is Botox?
- How did Botox begin?
- How is Botox administered and what wrinkles does Botox treat?
- How long does a Botox injection last?
- The sites on the body where Botox will work best
- Candidates for Botox
- Side effects and complications of Botox
- Medical and cosmetic uses of Botox
- Some questions about Botox answered
Medical and cosmetic uses of Botox
Botox is mostly used as a treatment to reduce wrinkles and lines in the face. However, the uses of the drug go beyond purely cosmetic applications as it also helps in the treatment of certain medical conditions. The most common of these include:
Rectifying Crossed Eyes (Squint)
This was the first medical use of Botox. Injecting the drug into the muscles of the eyes allows the movement of the eyes to be more controlled, reducing the appearance of cross eyes.
By paralysing the muscles that produce and excrete sweat from the body, it stops the sweat glands from functioning normally and prevents sweat from being produced. This also helps to reduce body odour.
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic disorder wherein pressure is applied to certain muscle trigger points which results in pain being triggered in unrelated parts of the body. Botox is injected into painful muscles in the shoulder and neck areas which is known to help improve the level of pain experienced.
The uses of Botox are even spreading into the area of psychiatry. It was discovered that higher levels of frowning have been known to contribute to depression symptoms. In 2014, a study was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research wherein 74 depression patients were administered with Botox in the frown line area. The study found their symptoms of depression decreased by 47%. However, Botox is not approved for the treatment of depression by the FDA.
People with this condition, suffer from their bladder releasing urine (by squeezing it out) without warning. If Botox is injected into the bladder, the muscles relax more, which can also improve the storage capacity. This treatment has been used in patients with spinal injuries as well.
Suffering from chronic migraines means that you suffer from a severe and debilitating headache for more than 14 days of the month. To treat this, Botox is injected into the temples, forehead and possibly the neck muscles. This helps these muscles to relax, taking away some of the tension that can cause a tension migraine headache.
Drooling in Parkinson's disease
Parkinson’s disease causes issues with muscle functions and sometimes affects the salivary glands which can result in excessive drooling due swallowing being less frequent. Botox can be administered into the salivary glands to decrease the production of saliva.
These are just some of the uses for the drug, more are being investigated daily with the hopes of alleviating and improving the symptoms of other medical conditions.