Think Botox is just for minimizing the appearance of wrinkles? Think again. Botox has been around for decades, and since it was introduced, medical professionals have used the injectable in several ways that have nothing at all to do with wrinkle reduction.
While we administer Botox for aesthetic purposes at Arijai, it has several other FDA-approved uses we think you should know about. If you’ve been apprehensive about getting Botox injections because you’ve heard they’re toxic or unsafe, hopefully, this blog helps clear up any lingering safety concerns you may have.
While you’re here, read up on what you need to know about Botox injections if you’re seriously considering scheduling your first appointment.
1. Botox Can Help Treat Painful, Tightly Contracted Muscles
Botox was first approved by the FDA in 1989 as a treatment for rare eye muscle dysfunction disorders. But medical practitioners quickly realized that the injectable wasn’t just capable of limiting the function of the muscles around the eyes; it could limit the contraction of other muscles, too.
Botox’s active ingredient (the botulinum toxin) prevents the release of acetylcholine, which is the chemical responsible for stimulating muscle contractions. The injectable’s mechanism of action can treat a variety of conditions that involve tightly contracted or spastic muscles, including:
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Cervical dystonia (a disorder characterized by severe neck pain and abnormal head position)
- Muscle contractures
- Lazy eye or excessive eye twitching
- Overactive bladder
2. Botox Injections Can Control Excessive Sweating
Excessive underarm sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be reduced by 82%-87% with Botox injections, and results typically last anywhere from four to 14 months. The treatment was first approved by the FDA in 2004 and works by blocking acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for activating sweat glands.
That same neurotransmitter allows facial muscle contraction to occur. That’s why Botox is so effective for minimizing the appearance of existing wrinkles and preventing the formation of new lines.
3. Botox Can Be Used to Address Chronic Migraines
In 1992, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon observed that his patients who received Botox injections for wrinkle reduction also reported fewer migraine headaches. Several years later, clinical studies were performed to test whether Botox could indeed induce a reduction in chronic migraines. In 2010, the injectable was approved by the FDA as a treatment for migraine disorders.
Still not sure about Botox? Check out what dermal fillers can treat to see if they might be a better fit for your needs.
4. Botox May Improve Symptoms of Depression
As mentioned, Botox injections limit facial muscle contractions. When a person receives these injections, they may not be able to make facial expressions to the degree they were capable of making them before getting Botox.
For example, if a person can typically express a deep frown, Botox injections in their forehead area will likely prevent that frown from being so severe. Interestingly, researchers have found that because Botox prevents people from making certain facial expressions, it may also be able to help with depression.
How does it work? While the evidence is limited and researchers haven’t reached a consensus, the theory stems from the fact that the facial muscles and the brain communicate back and forth. When a person frowns (or makes any expression for that matter), that physical expression of emotion provides feedback to the brain, which reinforces the emotion expressed.
Researchers hypothesize that because Botox prevents facial muscle contractions, it interrupts the feedback loop from the facial musculature to the brain, which may help control negative emotions. Several studies show support for the theory, but Botox is a long way from receiving FDA-approval for use in the psychiatry field.
5. Botox Can Help With Chronic Pain
Just as Botox can help people who suffer from chronic migraines, it can also help people who suffer from chronic pain elsewhere in their bodies. Researchers have found when Botox is injected into certain muscles, it blocks nerve signaling that causes excessive muscle tightening, which may be a cause behind chronic pain.
Curious whether it really works? A 2014 study published in Anesthesia & Analgesia concluded that “BoNT-A injected directly into painful muscle groups improves average pain scores and certain aspect of quality of life in patients experiencing severe cervical and shoulder girdle myofascial pain.”
6. Botox Can Help People With Overactive Bladder
People who suffer from an overactive bladder have a nerve disorder that causes the muscles in the bladder to spasm unexpectedly and uncontrollably. This process can cause accidental leakage, a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, or excessive trips to the bathroom.
When Botox is injected into the bladder muscle, it helps block the nerve signaling that causes those spasms, which can help decrease symptoms of overactive bladder.
Are Botox Injections Right for You? Schedule a Free Consultation With Arijai!
If you’ve been considering Botox injections, let our team at Arijai Aesthetics help you determine if they’re right for your skin care goals! Feel free to call our Burnsville, MN, clinic at 952-435-0605 to learn more or request a free Botox consultation online, and a member of our team will be in touch with you promptly.