Gone are the days when BOTOX® produced frozen faced women who couldn’t move their facial muscles. With increasingly better techniques, BOTOX® now produces natural results, allowing men and women to move their facial expressions after treatment, looking fresher, more youthful, and of course, without all the wrinkles.
But this amazing medicine does not stop at erasing wrinkles. Everyday, people are finding more and more uses for BOTOX® in the fields of both beauty and clinical medicine, pushing the frontiers of science and innovation…
Here are 5 non-wrinkle-busting uses of BOTOX® you probably never heard of..
1) Improving Depression
We look upset because we feel distressed, but could it work the other way round too?
Yes, according to several studies. Recently a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research supports this even more. A group of patients were treated in their glabellar region either with real BOTOX® or saline as placebo treatment. Amazingly, patients in the BOTOX® treatment group exhibited improved depressive symptoms over the 16 week study period. The researchers concluded that BOTOX® may have a role in the treatment of depressive patients not responding adequately to medication.
It is a new and exciting concept, that facial expressions not only expresses, but regulates mood states. So stop frowning so much!
2) Treating Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever affects millions worldwide. While it is not life threatening, it can severely impact quality of life, not to mention cause Dark Eye Circles to darken! I am a sufferer of hay fever myself, and I spent countless nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep due to the headache from the congested airways.
A team of doctors in Australia are now conducting trials to use a BOTOX® gel to alleviate the symptoms of sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes. The BOTOX® molecules in the gel are specially re-engineered to be able to penetrate through the lining of the nose. In treating hay fever, the botulinum toxin will affect the nerves in the nose and potentially block some of the chemicals released by the nerve endings which play a large role in causing symptoms.
Early trials are proving to be very promising, if successful, a single application can provide hay fever sufferers relief for up to 3 months!
3) Curing Migraine and Tension Headaches
Unknown to many, BOTOX® is in fact FDA approved for the treatment of chronic migraine. It is thought to alleviate migraine by reducing a variety of pain neuropeptides and blocking the feedback loop of pain transmission in the body.
BOTOX® also helps tension headaches by relaxing the muscles in the region of the pain. Lastly, people who brux (grind their teeth at night) often wake up with a headache due to the immense pressure exerted during the bruxing process. BOTOX® works wonders for this group of people, curing both the bruxing and the headaches altogether, and most of all – allowing sufferers to have a good night’s sleep.
After I wrote about using BOTOX® for the treatment of migraines earlier this year, I received many requests for this treatment – many were not aware of what this wonder drug could do for them. While not everyone’s headaches disappeared completely, I can confidently say that every one of my patients reported improvement in their symptoms.
4) Jaw Lift
BOTOX® not only softens wrinkles, but is able to give tired jaw-lines a lift as well. In the jaw and upper neck area, aging gives rise to unsightly jowls. The jaw line sags and becomes less defined. The corners the mouth begin to turn downwards, making us look sad all the time.
By skillfully manipulating the muscles which pull on the corners of the mouth, the jaw and the neck, we can create a jaw-lift by injecting small amounts of BOTOX® in the area. The treatment is popularly known as the “Nefertiti Lift”, named after the Egyptian queen of the same name who is famous for her beautiful long neck and exquisite jawline.
5) Treating Excessive Sweating
Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, can be a distressing and embarrassing condition which may affect daily functioning. (I have had patients coming to me who needed treatment as they are unable to even hold on to their work tools!). The condition most commonly affects the underarms, palms and soles.
Traditionally, hyperhidrosis was treated with application of Aluminium chloride solution, which is uncomfortable, leaving a sticky sensation, and may also irritate the skin. Oral medications can be used, but comes with other side effects. In severe cases, surgery, where the nerves (sympathetic chain) running alongside the spine is burnt off, is used to treat the condition. This, too, comes with significant side effects, the most common being compensatory sweating elsewhere in the body. Not really solving the problem, are we?
Hence, BOTOX® was a godsend when it was FDA approved for treating hyperhidrosis. Just a few injections, and sweating is decreased significantly. The effects last up to 9 months, and comes with minimal side effects.
Far from producing a frozen expressionless face, BOTOX® has come a long way. It has found applications which far exceeds erasing wrinkles, and has helped improve the quality of life (including my own!) of millions around the world. Not bad for toxin which was first discovered from from spoiled sausages and termed “sausage poison“!