Firstly, What is Botox Used For?
For many, Botox brings to mind aesthetics first — smooth, wrinkle-free skin achieved through relaxed facial muscles. Botox is among the most popular cosmetic treatments out there. It helps reduce wrinkles while being a quick, minimally invasive, and affordable procedure.
However, there is much more to Botox than what it can do for your skin. Since its release in the late 1980s, several new uses for Botox have been discovered, many of which have medical benefits. Over time these non-cosmetic uses of Botox have become just as popular as the cosmetic treatments.
So, What Can Botox be Used For?
There are several Botox approved uses which have benefits outside of smoothing wrinkles and giving skin a more youthful appearance. Some of these uses are medical: Botox can be used to treat a number of conditions throughout the body, from headaches to bladder issues. It is also sometimes used for mental health issues like depression.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the most popular non-filler uses for Botox. If any of these sound like a treatment which could help you, we recommend you contact a professional to speak about your options.
Non-Cosmetic Uses of Botox
There are a number of non-cosmetic uses for Botox. Some of the most popular are:
- Depression Treatment
Multiple studies have shown a direct link between Botox treatments and a lessening of depression symptoms. Though the research on this topic is still quite minimal — the studies were on the smaller side — the results were consistent in showing positive results from the treatment.
During most of these trials, Botox was injected into the “frown line” area of the participants’ faces. Others received a placebo injection. Time and time again, the Botox injection improved symptoms of depression, particularly in tandem with medication. Some of these studies have indicated that the results were most prominent in the eight weeks following the injection.
- Jaw Clenching and Tooth Grinding
Ever heard of bruxism? This condition is more commonly known as tooth grinding or jaw clenching. Those who suffer from bruxism often don’t even realize it — most teeth gnashing tends to happen during sleep. However, the effects of bruxism can be pretty hefty: grinding your teeth at night can cause a number of issues like damaged teeth, headaches, gum problems, and pain in the jaw.
Part of the success of Botox across both cosmetic and medical fields comes from its ability to relax muscles. This certainly comes into play here: studies have shown that, by relaxing one’s facial muscles with Botox, bruxism actions begin to ease. This treatment tends to have an effect for anywhere between three months and half a year.
- Bladder Control
Bladder control issues may not be not dangerous, but they can certainly cause discomfort as well as emotional distress for those suffering from it. However, Botox has been shown to help with incontinence issues caused by an overactive bladder.
Botox Medical Uses
In addition to the non-cosmetic applications of Botox, there are specific medical issues that can benefit from this treatment.
- Acne Management
If you’re one of the 50 million Americans to suffer from acne this year, you might be looking for a way to efficiently tackle your blemishes. It turns out that Botox can be your secret weapon for smaller pores, reduced oil production, and subsequently, clearer skin in targeted areas. Some patients choose to combine a Botox treatment with a chemical peel in order to banish acne and enjoy clearer skin.
- Migraine and Headache Relief
Those suffering from migraines may feel like they’ve tried every cure under the sun. It seems everybody has an idea about what cures migraines, from strong sweet coffee to healing vibrations to prescription pills. However, many migraine sufferers have not considered Botox as a way to treat their condition. For 11 years, Botox has been an FDA-approved form of chronic migraine treatment, to great success.
- Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Some people sweat more than average — much more, not just in hot weather or during exercise. In these individuals, a simple stick of deodorant is pretty worthless, as intense sweating can saturate clothing and is difficult to control. Hyperhidrosis can cause serious discomfort. However, Botox is an effective treatment that has been FDA approved for underarm sweating.
Some patients also use Botox to treat excessive sweating problems in their face, hands, and feet. However, these uses are not yet FDA-approved, and are considered to be “off-label” Botox treatments.
- Bell’s Palsy Treatment
Bell’s Palsy is a nerve-related condition which is, in most cases, temporary. It is brought on by the stimulus of the cranial nerve, which can be triggered by a number of events, including pregnancy, viral transmission, and diabetes. When one suffers from a Bell’s Palsy episode, nerves in their face become paralyzed, causing their face to sag or “droop” on one side. By relaxing these stiffened muscles, Botox is able to ease this paralysis and lead to recovery.
- Eye Condition and Disease Treatment
Botox is used to treat several medical conditions related to the eyes and eyelids, including blepharospasms (eye twitching), strabismus (crossed eyes), and thyroid eye disease.
Getting Your Botox Treatment
If you have any of the conditions discussed, and would like to try Botox for treatment, we are here to help. At Look Younger, our lead physician, Dr. Leo Lapuerta, has over 20 years of experience in plastic surgery and cosmetic injectables. Give us a call at 832-479-9179 or request a consultation online. We’ll be able to thoroughly answer all of your questions and determine the best treatment path for you and your unique circumstances.
We can’t wait to meet you and help you feel your very best!