If Botox isn’t your bag for its cosmetic benefits, you’re in the same boat as me. Well, so far anyway. If I’m completely honest, this furrowed brow sometimes makes me think twice about botulinum toxin and if it’s really that bad. But did you know that beyond its wrinkle-erasing powers, Botox can be used to curb a myriad of ailments that have nothing to do with how young you look?
Keeping You Dry
For patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis, or in layman’s terms, excessive sweating, anxiousness and embarrassment can be an everyday challenge. Botox injections in the hands and underarms temporally block neurotransmitters that stimulate sweat production, and can give you confidence to shake hands and raise your arms overhead anytime you want. Most typically used in the underarm area as a treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis, the injection can provide up to two years of relief.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox as a treatment for migraine sufferers in 2010. Treatment requires patients receive 31 Botox injections into seven specific areas of the head and neck roughly every 12 weeks. It’s ideal for people who have chronic headaches that occur 15 or more days a month with duration of four hours or more each occurrence. Two studies that monitored 1,384 adults in North America and Europe indicated that patients treated with Botox experienced a notable decrease in the frequency of days with a headache.
After two clinical trials with close to 700 patients, Botox was approved by the FDA for treating leaky bladder for people with nerve damage from spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. The nine-month treatment decreases urinary leakage by relaxing the bladder, which consequently enables it to hold more urine. One downside: Possible painful side effects including urinary tract infections and inability to urinate – which must be with a catheter in order to empty your bladder.
A randomized, controlled test of participants with treatment-resistant depression showed that Botox use actually reduced their depressive symptoms. After six weeks, 47 percent of the participants in a test group that received single dose of Botox injected just above the eyebrows showed an improvement in their condition when compared with their fellow panelists who received a placebo potion instead. The results remained true throughout the duration of the 16-week study. M. Axel Wollmer who authored the study explains that Botox injections interrupt feedback from the facial muscles to the brain, and can hinder negative emotions from being developed and maintained.
There are two eye treatments with Botox available that have nothing to do with crow’s feet. Strabismus – better known as cross eyes, can be managed with Botox. An ophthalmologist injects a small amount into the eye muscle, and alignment should occur in under a week. Repeat visits are necessary every three months. Blepharospasm – eye twitching, can be managed for three to five month with a Botox injection in the upper eyelid. Results should be noticeable in about two weeks.