Botox is most known for its function as an anti-aging injectable, however there are a variety of important uses for this neuromodulator. People receive Botox injections for cosmetic as well as medical reasons, and it has become a proven solution for several painful medical conditions.
What is Botox?
Botox is a neuromodulator or an injectable that uses purified botulinum toxin A to relax overstimulated muscles (or the stimulation of sweat glands in the case of hyperhidrosis). Botox injections are administered with a fine needle and most patients find this to be a very comfortable treatment. One can apply a topical anesthetic prior to maximize your comfort. Although Botox was the first injectable to use purified botulinum toxin, new neuromodulators such as Xeomin, Dysport and Nuceiva are starting to pave the way for more versatility in the usage of botulinum toxin.
Is Botulinum Toxin Treatment Safe?
Botox has been used safely for the past 30 years worldwide. Botulinum toxin type A is FDA-approved and Health Canada approved for a variety of treatments. Side effects are rare and short lasting as Botox is temporary in action.
How Long Does Botox Last?
Botox results usually develop within 3 days after treatment and last an average of 3-4 months. Botox for hyperhidrosis and bladder dysfunction has been shown to last a bit longer and patients can expect those injections to last for up to 6-12 months.
What is Botox Used For?
Botox can be used in many areas of the face and body to treat a wide variety of cosmetic and medical conditions. The injections can improve:
Facial Lines and Wrinkles
The most common use for Botox is to smooth and soften fine lines and wrinkles on the face. It can be used on the forehead to treat moderate to severe frown lines or glabellar lines, upper forehead wrinkles, around the eyes to soften crow’s feet, under the eyebrows for a subtle brow lift, on the nose to lift the tip and smooth fine lines called bunny lines, around the lips to smooth smoker’s lines, downturned corners of the mouth, and marionette lines; and on the chin, jaw, and neckline to soften vertical neck lines and help slim the face. When injected into the facial muscles, these muscles relax and this prevents facial wrinkles from forming on the overlying skin. Subsequent use of Botox illustrates improved skin tone and texture.
Similar to how Botox prevents excessive muscle stimulation, it can be used to reduce signals that trigger sweat glands in the armpits, hands, and feet. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes severe underarm sweating (axillary hyperhidrosis) and excess sweating in other areas of the body. People diagnosed with this condition sweat to a point that antiperspirants and deodorants are not effective. They may sweat through their clothes easily, even when they are not working out, and this can cause significant emotional distress. Botox is effective in reducing excessive sweating resulting in improved daily function and self-esteem.
A gummy smile refers to a smile that shows significant more gums than lips. This can occur as a result of genetics that causes a thin upper lip or a hyperactive nasolabial muscle that causes the upper lip to draw back too far when a person smiles. Botox can be injected into this muscle in the area between the mouth and nose to reduce it’s contraction. This results in less gum show, and patients can enjoy a brighter balanced smile that shows off their teeth and lips.
TMJ and Jaw Pain
Masseter Botox injections will relax the masseter muscles overlying the jaw to reduce pain and prevent the jaw from tensing and clenching. For this treatment, Botox is typically injected into the jaw muscles however the placement and number of injections varies depending on each patient’s symptoms and anatomy. Not only will this alleviate pain from tense muscles, but it will also slim the lower face and enhance the jawline.
Cerebral Palsy and Muscle Spasms
Botox injections have been successfully used to temporarily prevent and reduce muscle spasms in the neck for children and adults with cervical dystonia. This is a painful condition that causes the neck muscles to contract involuntarily and when the neuromodulator is injected into those affected muscles, these neck muscles relax and the patient’s degree of comfort and function improve. Botox is frequently used to reduce blepharospasms. It can also be used to prevent or limit painful contractures caused by cerebral palsy.
Perhaps one of the more unusual areas Botox can be injected is the bladder. Patients with urinary incontinence or bladder dysfunction have an overactive bladder that requires them to urinate frequently with sudden urgency. People who live with this condition may feel ashamed of their need to use the bathroom so frequently and the treatment can greatly improve their quality of life. About 70-75% of patients experience a significant improvement in their overactive bladder.
Migraines for 15 days or more per month are diagnosed as chronic migraines. Migraines can be debilitating for people if the symptoms are severe enough, causing sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting. Injecting Botox into multiple points around the head and neck is a proven treatment to alleviate migraines and reduce the frequency of reoccurring headaches.
Schedule a Botox Consultation at Cerulean Medical Institute
Botox treatment is a safe and effective treatment solution that can improve many physically and emotionally debilitating symptoms almost anywhere on the body. To learn more about how treatments can help you, call our Kelowna office on (778) 760-5050 today to schedule your appointment.