Unconventional Uses for Botox You Didn’t Know Existed
Botox is widely known as one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world for its ability to remove and reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead wrinkles. That said, it’s important to know that, while Botox is most often associated with its primary cosmetic use, that’s not all it’s good for.
What many don’t know is that Botox has a multitude of practical and medical uses as well. Allergan, the maker of Botox, holds hundreds of patents for drug use, and a handful of these are fully FDA approved.
You can enlist the help of a qualified and experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon to administer Botox for countless matters not even noticeable to the eye. These surgeons perform procedures like Botox every day for patients looking for help for a variety of reasons.
These are just some of the many things Botox can be used to help remedy:
Teeth clenching and grinding, medically known as Bruxism, can unconsciously happen while we’re awake or asleep. This is not only painful but can also cause dental problems. Those who chronically grind their teeth report headaches, earaches, teeth sensitivity, sore jaws, or even chipped and broken teeth.
While dental devices like mouthguards may help protect teeth themselves, they can be ineffective when helping with the associated pain of the clenched muscles.
By injecting a small amount of Botox into the jaw, the muscles relax enough for the jaw to stop involuntarily clenching. The effects can last anywhere between 3-4 months.
This procedure does not affect voluntary movements, so chewing, talking, and facial expressions remain unaffected by this process.
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes sweat glands to produce excess perspiration on parts of the body. Sometimes this can happen for no describable reason, even when relaxed and inactive.
The condition can be uncomfortable and awkward for those who have it, and many turn to Botox for relief when things like antiperspirants fail. Botox can temporarily and effectively block the chemicals in your body responsible for activating sweat glands.
The International Hyperhidrosis Society reports that those who receive underarm Botox treatment noted a reduction in sweating as much as 82%-87%. While not FDA approved, the sweat reduction treatment was also 80-90% effective for sweating in hands.
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines can be debilitating for those who receive them. But Botox has been shown to be effective in reducing the pain experienced and the frequency of experience.
The theory behind how Botox for migraines work is that Botox acts as a block between neurotransmitters and your brain, which carry the pain signals. When receiving facial Botox, patients have, in fact reported having far fewer headaches since their procedures.
A recent study showed that Botox cut down both the severity and frequency in patients who reported getting chronic migraines. A different study showed nearly 50% of those who did two rounds of Botox reported half as many headaches per month. After five rounds, 70% reported the same.
However, this procedure is only available to those with a history of chronic migraines, meaning 15 or more headaches a month, eight of which must be migraines.
Muscle Spasticity can cause stiffness, involuntary contractions, inflammation, and pain. In addition to other treatments, Botox has been used to help muscle spasticity since the 1990s. This works because injections block the severity and frequency of spasms by relaxing the muscles that cause them. This can range from the neck to legs, back, hands, lower back, and feet; essentially anywhere the spasm occurs.
Of those who have had the procedure, many reported success and relief of their symptoms. Though not FDA approved, those with cerebral palsy similarly report significantly less severe muscle contractions after receiving Botox, less pain, and increased range of motion and walking capabilities.
The effects of the procedure generally last 3-4 months.
Urge incontinence is a condition where your body has a sudden and involuntary need to urinate. The problem here is that the bladder gives you virtually no warning before contracting and thus, cannot be held. This can happen several times a day, even with a near-empty bladder.
Not only is this condition socially and mentally draining, but it’s also incredibly common. Up to 17% of women and up to 11% of men reported suffering from the condition at some point in their lives.
Performed by a urologist, Botox can be injected into the bladder to relax the muscles that cause the involuntary contractions and last as long as six to eight months, with a reported 70-80% efficiency.