Surprising Uses for Botox: Botox for Wrinkles and So Much More
When you think of the word “Botox,” what comes to mind? We all know doctors inject Botox for wrinkles around the eyes, smile lines around the mouth, and deep horizontal lines across the forehead. But Botox, believe it or not, wasn’t even created for treatment of wrinkles and fine lines! Its uses go far beyond the cosmetic treatments for which it is known the world over.
A Brief History of Botox
Botox, otherwise known as botulinum toxin, has been around for quite some time. Certain strains of botulinum toxin can make people sick – as discovered in the 1820’s – while others, as it turned out over a hundred years later, can have totally different effects when administered correctly. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was discovered by Dr. Vernon Brooks that a certain strain of botulinum toxin can temporarily relax muscles. Shortly after this discovery, San Francisco based ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Scott began experimenting with botulinum toxin in hopes to find a cure for his patients with crossed eyes.
Fast forward about ten years when Dr. Scott received FDA approval to administer the new drug into his first patients. Results revealed that botulinum toxin type A was not only safe, but effective for treating crossed eyes! Further research showed that botulinum toxin was also effective in treating a wide array of muscle spasms in the face and vocal cords. In the late 1980s, the pharmaceutical company Allergan bought Dr. Scott’s company and distribution rights to the toxin and Botox was born.
After further research, it was revealed that Botox could also treat other conditions, unrelated to crossed eyes and muscle issues in the face and neck.
Surprising Uses for Injectables
- Wrinkles: Today, this isn’t very surprising. But imagine when botulinum toxin was first used to treat cross eyed patients in the 1970s and then it was noticed decades later that these patients were looking young and vibrant. Pretty surprising, right? The same way botulinum toxin temporarily paralyzes the muscles of the face to treat eye and muscle spasms, facial muscles are treated to smooth lines and wrinkles. Botox for wrinkles and smile lines are the most well-known use of the drug today, but check out the other surprising uses.
- Migraines: I bet you didn’t know Botox can treat chronic migraines! But how? Technically speaking, Botox paralyzes the muscle into which it is injected. Plastic surgeons can inject Botox into the forehead to relieve pain and tension. It can also be injected into the neck and shoulders, into these other problem areas.
- Incontinence: This is a game-changer for people who suffer from overactive bladders, multiple sclerosis and individuals with spinal cord injuries. Botox is injected directly into the bladder, causing the muscles to relax and thus, more urine can store before the individual feels the need to relieve him or herself.
- Sweating: Also known as hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating is an embarrassing condition that was previously difficult to treat. By injecting Botox directly into the skin, the sweat glands that caused this excessive perspiration are blocked.
- Salivation: Similar to hyperhidrosis, hypersalivation (or sialorrhea) causes excess saliva in patients who suffer from this condition. Botox injections are administered into the salivary glands, resulting in a blockage of this gland and lower production of saliva.
Important Things to Consider Before Getting Botox
While Botox injections for treating signs of aging are the most common reason people inquire about this drug, Botox can literally change lives in people suffering from the conditions mentioned above. It is important that you only trust an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon to administer Botox, even if it is “only for wrinkles.” Improper placement of this drug can lead to vision problems, trouble breathing and speaking, and muscle weakness. For more information on Botox for wrinkles and other available non-surgical treatments, visit our injectables page here.
If you are considering getting Botox for wrinkles or other problem areas, Boca Raton plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Berman is the natural choice. Dr. Berman is a double Board-certified Plastic Surgeon and active member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), with more than 20 years’ experience in performing aesthetic and plastic surgery procedures. His staff has a combined 60+ years of surgical experience and all anesthesia is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Because of Dr. Berman’s unrelenting insistence on the highest standards of patient care, his patients enjoy an incredible 0% infection rate to date.
If you are considering a plastic surgery procedure in Boca Raton, call Dr. Berman today for a private consultation at 561-257-4052, or complete this discreet online consultation form.