5 Applications For Botox That May Surprise You

botox, Primary Medical Associates of Long Island

The media have virtually assured that Botox® is best known as a paralytic toxin that’s injected into your face to smooth wrinkles. The sensationalism hasn’t stopped Botox from becoming the single most popular cosmetic treatment in America.

How Botox works

Though based on the botulinum toxin, a very powerful natural poison, Botox Cosmetic is proof of the concept that toxicity depends on dosage. Even water is toxic if consumed in sufficient quantity. For use in Botox, the botulinum toxin is diluted to a minute fraction of its natural state.

Its paralytic properties are therapeutic at these extreme dilutions, able to relax muscles in the immediate area around its injection point, but not much farther. The relaxing effect is temporary, though long-lasting. In cosmetic applications, a single Botox treatment can last six months or more.

5 surprising Botox applications

You may not be aware that Botox wasn’t developed as an aesthetic treatment or that it has a wide range of off-label uses. Today, we look at five uses for Botox that go beyond smoothing the active wrinkles on your forehead and beside your eyes. Some of these applications are astonishing.

Strabismus

An eye muscle problem that prevents your eyes from lining up in one direction, strabismus was the first condition for which Botox received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1989. People with the condition may experience crossed eyes or one eye straight and the other turning in another direction.

There are six muscles that control movement of each eyeball, and targeted Botox injections can reduce the activity of the muscle that’s behaving abnormally, returning normal eye movement and restoring binocular vision.

Chronic migraines

Three years after Botox first received FDA approval, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who used it to treat wrinkles noted that patients reported fewer migraines after their cosmetic treatments. Further research followed, and Botox has been FDA-approved for the treatment of migraines since 2010. Other drugs, such as antidepressants, turned out to have positive effects on migraines, and Botox is another such treatment in the migraine toolbox.

Overactive bladder

At least one study has shown that women experiencing bladder leaks had a 40% reduction in daily occurrences when treated with Botox injections. It’s regarded by some doctors as the most significant treatment for overactive bladder that they’ve encountered.

Excessive sweating

Another use that was first discovered incidentally is the reduction in the amount of sweat occurring in patients with severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Again, once the connection was made, further research led to FDA approval for this Botox treatment in 2004. Botox can also be used on sweaty hands and feet.

Depression

The only off-label use on this list — FDA approval for treatment is not yet granted — is for depression. Botox is currently under testing as a treatment for depression based on a principle called the facial feedback hypothesis.

In short, this hypothesis projects that a person’s facial expression can influence their mood in certain types of depression. A 2014 study found that a majority of patients receiving Botox treatments felt a drop in depression symptoms in a matter of weeks.

Botox continues to surprise researchers with its far-ranging uses as a therapeutic agent. Whether you’re interested in exploring these surprising treatment options or if you simply wish to capture a younger-looking face, contact Primary Medical Associates of Long Island by phone or online to schedule an appointment today.

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