Botox is a deadly toxin. Inhaling 13 billionths of a gram or injecting 2 billionths of it in the body can kill an adult. Botox contains a Bacterium that paralyzes. Its toxins block the nerves from releasing acetylcholine which is what makes muscles work. The nature of this substance therefore makes it ideal for cosmetic procedures, helping to inhibit the formation of wrinkles.
Botox is a very familiar word that is synonymous with looking young and having a wrinkle-free face. However, not many people know that it has some added benefits as well – it can be an effective remedy for various other conditions.
Botox and Wrinkles
Botox is deadly when used incorrectly, but the right amount can do wonders on wrinkles. It is used by dermatologists and other qualified medical professionals to remedy lines in the face. The toxin used in the cosmetic treatments is purified and so is safe for use.
A one-time treatment of botox (for instance in the forehead) will stop wrinkles in their tracks by paralysing the nerves in the injected area. After three months, the Botox effect decreases until it goes back to normal again. After six months, patients might decide to undergo a repeat treatment.
Botox has become a mainstream procedure thanks to publicity by Hollywood stars. Today, it’s readily available to the masses although its illegal prevalence in black market sales has also risen.
9 Other Uses for Botox
Aside from the wrinkle reducing capacity of botulinum toxin, studies have also shown it to be a good remedy for other medical conditions. One of its famous medical applications is for the treatment of migraines. Here are 9 surprising uses for botox:
Sialorrhea or hypersalivation is the condition wherein a person produces saliva in excess. When one has the inability to close their mouth, drooling may occur. Sialorrhea is often found among children with neurologic disorder. Botox though is found to help in this condition.
A Dutch study found that excessive drooling can be lessened when Botox is used and injected in the submandibular glands. Most of the patients noted a 50% reduction in drooling. This was published on the Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery blog.
#2. Costen’s syndrome
Costen’s syndrome is believed to be a result of temporomandibular syndrome. It is accompanied by hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitis and a burning sensation in the throat and tongue. Botox is said to help the condition. The toxin is injected into the temporomandibular joint.
The usage of botox for migraine headaches is widely studied. In fact, botox as a treatment for these kinds of severe headaches has already been approved by the FDA in the US. Treatment usually consists of injection of the toxin in a person’s forehead as well as the neck and shoulders. It helps relieve pain and tension caused by the condition. Botox for migraine treatment needs to be re-administered every three months. Relief can be felt in 10 to 14 days from the first injection.
#4. Excessive sweating
Hyperthidrosis is also known as excessive sweating and it affects a huge chunk of the population. Botox is usually the next option if anti-perspirants cannot remedy the sweating and the condition already impairs a person’s day to day normal living.
Botox is a safe and non-invasive way of eliminating sweat glands in the underarm. Botox for excessive sweating is long lasting but one may need to have a second injection before results become noticeable.
#5. Enlarged prostate
A study from the University of Pittsurgh Medical Center produced a promising result regarding the use of botox for enlarged prostate. Pills prescribed for the condition may not work and may even yield some side effects. Botox, according to the study, is a safer and more effective alternative.
Enlarged prostate is known to affect urinary flow. Once the botox is injected directly into the glands, it helps relax muscles and nerves, allowing easier urine flow. The study does not claim that it can change the prostate size, only alleviate the symptoms.
#6. Cerebral Palsy
Botox is very beneficial in easing symptoms of cerebral palsy, although few know it. A botox injection is found to help children with cerebral palsy perform tasks without experiencing involuntary muscle movement akin to the condition. The injection can last for up to four months and needs to be re-administered.
These findings, presented in the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, have proven to be safe for long term use and helps therapists perform necessary routines minus the resistance from involuntary muscle movements.
#7. Uncontrolled blinking
Blepharospasm is the medical term for uncontrolled blinking or eye twitching. Usually, it is caused by stress, fatigue and pain around the eye. The condition may disappear after a few days but some cases are long term. Severe cases may result in blindness. When botox is injected in the problem area, the nerve cells are blocked from doing their normal muscle contraction. It needs to be reinjected again after three months for continued relief. Some cases may not react positively to alternative treatments like this, pushing sufferers to undergo surgical therapy and other invasive treatments.
#8. Crossed eyes
Crossed eyes or the condition of strabismus can be helped by Botox injection. It is injected to paralyse muscle around the eyeball allowing the straying eyeball to go back to correct alignment. It is a five minute procedure that yields positive result. This treatment needs expertise from the professional who administers it since it involves treatment on such a delicate part of the body.
Strabismus is often a condition that causes social stigma especially among kids and teenagers. If it isn’t addressed it may lead to isolation and low self esteem.
An overactive bladder may cause urinary incontinence. Although it is commonly present in people with multiple sclerosis and spinal injury, incontinence is also common among people who are aging. It involves mild cases of leaking urine when coughing or a sudden urge to urinate and not getting to a toilet in time.
Botox as a treatment for incontinence helps to freeze the bladder walls. It helps reduce urine leakage and episodes of urgent urination. Bladder control returned for some patients after the treatment.
Botox and Safety
Botox is a delicate toxin. The wrong dose may cause paralysis and even death. Although botox is regulated, there are still some cheap and black market shots that get patronized by many. It is risky and it leaves no insurance for most patients.
Experts and medical professionals advise those seeking treatment to consult somebody who is knowledgeable about the toxin and has adequate practice in its administration. Aside from the fact that you are in safe hands, added insurance recognition may also help in case something unexpected happens.
The very first step that most professionals recommend is to see your GP and have a thorough examination. Botox should be your last resort.