While most commonly known for reducing the appearance of wrinkles, there are many common Botox uses that you may not know about. But before we discuss the many uses of Botox and its benefits, let’s review what Botox is.
Botox injections are a cosmetic or medical procedure that is used to prevent a specific muscle from moving by blocking nerve signals to the muscle. While the nerve signals are only blocked temporarily, the results often last for several months. The injection site is determined by your area of concern, though you can have more than one area treated during the same appointment.
The active ingredient in Botox injections is a purified form of the botulinum toxin, Clostridium botulinum, which is found in a type of food poisoning called botulism. However, Botox is produced in a lab for optimal safety and efficacy and is diluted and sterilized so there is no risk of contracting botulism from Botox injections.
What Are the General Benefits of Botox?
Botox is best known as a cosmetic procedure that decreases the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles by softening the muscle movements that cause them. Cosmetic Botox injections are typically used in the following areas:
- Crow’s feet (eyes)
What is Botox Used for Other Than Wrinkles?
Botox is not just a cosmetic procedure. There are a number of medical reasons someone can receive Botox injections for, and it’s actually been used by the medical industry for decades. One general medical Botox use is to help reduce pain by blocking the nerve signals that control your muscles.
Botox injections have been found to help reduce back, neck, and jaw pain, including pain associated with TMJ. Unsurprisingly, due to its effects on the nerves, Botox can also help decrease nerve pain and neuropathy.
Other types of pain Botox injections can help:
- Joint pain
- Chronic myofascial pain
- Pelvic pain
- Sciatica pain
7 Botox Uses (And Some That Will Surprise You)
If you were surprised by some of the medical Botox uses we’ve already discussed, then you’re in for a treat. There are even more surprising uses of Botox to cover, both medical and cosmetic.
Crossed Eyes (Strabismus)
Crossed eyes is a condition that affects approximately 4% of Americans. Botox injections can be used to relax the eye muscles, allowing the eye to refocus and straighten. Results typically last three to four months.
Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Botox became FDA-approved to treat excessive sweating in 2004. Botox injections help to block the chemical signal sent to nerve endings that activate your sweat glands. Injections are placed in the areas of excessive sweating, such as the underarms, palms, feet, and head, and can last up to six months.
A gummy smile isn’t a medical concern, but it can affect a person’s self-esteem. When a gummy smile is caused by an overactive muscle in the upper lip, Botox can be injected into the upper lip to relax the muscle and reduce the amount of gum seen when smiling. Results can last up to six months.
A person can be diagnosed with chronic migraines when they suffer from headaches for 15 or more days per month. Botox became FDA-approved for chronic migraines in 2010. While Botox injections do not cure migraines, they do reduce the symptoms and make them more tolerable and easy to manage. Results can last up to three months.
Research has recently found that Botox benefits people with depression by significantly reducing depression symptoms. While using Botox for depression is relatively new, Vujevich Dermatology Associates prides ourselves on staying up-to-date on groundbreaking research and evidence-based practices to provide our patients with expert care.
Vertical Neck Lines
One area that often is overlooked when considering anti-aging treatments is the neck. This can lead to signs of aging on your neck, like vertical bands that run up and down your neck. Botox can be used to relax the muscles causing these bands, leading to a smoother, less wrinkled neck. Results can last up to six months.
Botox is FDA-approved to treat muscle spasms in the eyelids, face, neck, shoulders, and upper body. The Botox injections work by blocking neural impulses to the spasming muscles. Results can last up to three months, but treatment will need to be repeated as new nerve endings grow.
How Long Does Botox Last?
Botox injections last three to six months depending on the area injected, your specific concern, and more. As you receive more Botox injections, you may notice results begin to last longer. This is because muscles near the injection site begin to shorten and become smaller as they are used less frequently.
After you have received Botox injections for an extended number of years, you may need fewer injections. Your provider will determine the dosage and frequency of your Botox injections based on your concerns and the number of previous Botox injections.
Is Botox Safe?
Whether people are considering Botox injections for cosmetic or medical reasons, one of the most common questions we answer is, is Botox safe? Yes, Botox is safe. It has been used for decades for both cosmetic and medical procedures.
Over the years, there have been more than 500 scientific articles published on Botox. This research includes different conditions Botox can be used to treat, Botox benefits, and the short-term and long-term side effects.
While Botox is safe when injected by a skilled provider, side effects can occur when injected incorrectly. These side effects can include:
- Swelling or bruising at the injection site
- Flu-like symptoms
- Droopy eyelids
- A crooked smile
- Watery or dry eyes
Botox is not recommended if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or have been diagnosed with a neurological disease.
If you want to discuss the different Botox uses that may apply to you, schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained dermatologists or contact our team at 412-429-2570. You can also follow us on Facebook to see what’s new in the world of dermatology.