Common Myths About Botox

Cosmetic Treatments for Wrinkles botoxAccording to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, medical professionals administered an estimated 4 million Botox in injections during 2016. This shocking number places Botox among the top 5 nonsurgical cosmetic procedures. Despite its popularity and growing use, much speculation and misconceptions about Botulinum Toxin remain prevalent. But before speculation halts someone from making an appointment with a trusted practitioner, dermatologists shed light on the truth surrounding common myths about Botox injections.
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Alternative Uses for Botox

Migraine
Woman with a Migraine

Botox has long been used to improve facial features by removing wrinkles around the mouth, eyes and forehead. Botulinum toxin has been successfully used for more than 20 years now to help smooth out facial wrinkles. It is an injectible substance which is used by many cosmetic surgeons in New Jersey. By 2008 it was reported that almost one fourth of all cosmetic procedures performed used Botox which is a form of purified protein. Smoothing out the facial features is by far the most common cosmetic use for Botox, but over the last few years many other uses have been discovered.

Excessive Sweating

Between 2 and 3 percent of the population are affected by a condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. When topical solutions fail to work, many turn to Botox injections to help bring some relief. Several Botox injections are given which will block the release of the chemicals which stimulate the sweat gland. Botox can help limit or even stop sweating for up to 4 months, but long term maintenance can be scheduled.

Dental Uses

This injectible filler can be used by medical professionals other than cosmetic surgeons. Dentists use Botox for treating an enlarged jaw muscle. The masseter is used for chewing and when it is overused by excessive gum chewing or clenching of the teeth, then it can become enlarged and can cause difficulty with eating. When Botox is injected into this muscle it causes it to atrophy so that it becomes smaller and comes back into alignment with the face which brings much relief to sufferers. Typically, a patient will experience relief for about 3 to 4 months before needing another treatment.

Migraine Headaches

The FDA recently approved the use of Botox in the treatment of chronic migraines. Migraines have traditionally been a very difficult condition to treat and can be accompanied by a wide variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness or sensitivity to light. The truth is that physicians are not even quite sure how Botox works to relieve migraines, but they know that symptoms are relieved by its use. It is typically injected in seven areas around the forehead, temples, neck and shoulders.  The main theory that most physicians adhere to is that it somehow prevents the pain signals from reaching the sensitive nerve endings.

Muscle Spasms

The original use for Botox was to treat both uncontrollable blinking and crossed eyes. Botox worked to weaken the muscles which caused the spasms which made the eyes cross. One patient noticed that it was also reducing her wrinkles, so she requested that the physician continue administering it even though she no longer had the spasms or uncontrolled blinking. It has also been used to relieve other muscle spasms. It has specifically been used to treat the platysma bands, or vertical bands in the neck area. This area can experience very painful spasms which are very uncomfortable. The use of Botox and some physical therapy has yielded very positive results. Another muscle spasm that causes some individuals discomfort is the muscle contractions which affect the bladder. Overactive bladder is a condition which is caused by spasms in the urinary muscles. Just like many other procedures, Botox calms the affected muscles and causes the unwanted contractions to cease which brings the patient relief. Some have also found relief from the spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. This is because an injection of Botox causes the muscles to relax which allows the patient to have fewer contractions and spasms. Through Botox injections many patients have found relief from various discomforts that are caused by various types of spasms or muscle contractions.

 

What is Botox?

Botox procedure
Wrinkles on her forehead

As people age, they still want to look their best. Botox is one alternative to helping an individual look younger and less stressed without having to incur the huge expense of plastic surgery. Botox is a brand name of a protein that is produced from the bacterium clostridium botulinum. When it is injected into the muscle, it can no longer contract. When the muscle treated with Botox relaxes and softens wrinkles are less prominent or are no longer seen. Continue reading “What is Botox?”