Botox: It’s Not Just For Wrinkles

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Botox: It’s Not Just For Wrinkles

Contrary to popular belief, those tiny injections that make lines and wrinkles disappear in the frown, forehead and eyes have been used for decades for the treatment of many medical conditions before its popularity in the aesthetic world.

Botox has become the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the world.

Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, and Xeomin are available brands of this product in the United States. Botox is a purified form of Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A), produced by the bacteria “Clostridium botulinum”. This microorganism in its natural habitat produces a toxin that can produce a lethal paralysis; however, Botox is safe and effective.

Botox works by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, causing them to relax, therefore improving muscle spasms and contractions, and softening the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Scientists and researchers were able to discover therapeutic medical applications for the use of this neurotoxin. Since 1983, Botox has been use for the treatment of muscular and neurologic disorders, improving the quality of life of individuals affected by certain neurologic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Let us discuss some of them:

Profuse sweating of underarms, face, hands and feet (hyperhidrosis). Botox was approved in 2004 for the treatment of profuse axillary hyperhidrosis. It temporarily blocks the sweat glands which are responsible for excessive perspiration. These injections are typically done in a single treatment session and can provide months of relief.

Chronic migraine headaches; Botox was approved in 2010. It involves injecting Botox in the upper face, scalp and neck to relieve symptoms of severe headaches caused by migraines.

Neck muscle spasms (cervical dystonia); Botox was approved in 2000. Cervical dystonia, is a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn to one side.

Upper limb spasticity (upper arm contractions in cerebral palsy & multiple sclerosis); Botox was approved in 1989

Strabismus (cross eyes) & blepharospams (constant blinking); Botox was approved in 1989 for treatment of these conditions. Strabismus usually develops during childhood but can occur at any age. It is caused by a lack of coordination between the eyes, making the eyes look in different directions. Blepharospasm is a neurological condition characterized by excessive eye blinking and occasional spasms of the muscles around the eyes.

Hemifacial spasm or weakness (asymmetry of face or involuntary muscle contractions seen in Bell’s palsy, constant blinking); Botox was approved in 1989.

Overactive bladder caused by neurogenic incontinence; Botox was approved in 2013. This condition is found in patients with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, stroke or diabetes, in which is a malfunction of the bladder caused by damage to the nerves that controls the urinary tract. The person affected by this condition may have the desire to void frequently or have a constant dribble of urine.

There are approximately over 20 different medical conditions treated with Botox with more being discovered regularly. As discussed, some of them are FDA approved, however many of the off-label medical conditions treated with Botox are safe and awaiting FDA approval.

The effects of botulinum toxin are transient; lasting approximately 3 to 4 months. For the treatment of profuse sweating and neurogenic incontinence, treatment with Botox can last 6 to 9 months. The muscle function typically returns to baseline. The concentration of the toxin used for medical and aesthetic conditions is very low, decreasing the risks of possible side effects when it is use appropriately.

If you have been diagnosed with any of these medical conditions and you have failed standard treatment, talk to your doctor to see if Botox is a good option for you. There are some medical insurance plans that may cover a portion of this treatment.

The cosmetic indication for Botox was reported by Canadian husband and wife physicians, JD and JA Carruthers, and were the first to publish a study on BTX-A for the treatment of frown lines in 1992.

After formal clinical trials, in April 2002, the FDA announced the approval of Botox Cosmetic to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. Since then, Botox has been used off-label for the improvement of lines and wrinkles around the mouth, forehead, crow’s feet, nose, and corner and around lips, gummy smile, dimpled chin and wrinkles around neck and neck bands.

In September 2013, Botox Cosmetic was approved for the treatment of crow’s feet.

Please leave your comments; we would love to hear back from you. If you have received treatment with Botox for any of the medical conditions discussed above, tell us if it has worked or not for you.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

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