Do you get Botox injections to smooth out the wrinkles on your forehead or around your eyes? Did you know that these injections are beneficial for a wide range of medical conditions?
Botox can be a wonder when it comes to freezing wrinkles. Just ask the 6.5 million people who get Botox injections done every year. And now comes news that Botox may even improve skin’s pliability and elasticity for up to four months.
“Results showed that Botox injections increased skin pliability and elasticity for up to 4 months – close to the usual duration of its wrinkle-fighting effects.”
In a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Facial Plastic Surgery, doctors studied 48 women with an average age of 55 who received Botox injections to minimize mild forehead wrinkles and wrinkles around the eyes. They looked at the skin’s pliability and elasticity before the injections and at 2 weeks, and after 2, 3 and 4 months after Botox treatment.
Results showed that Botox injections increased skin pliability and elasticity for up to 4 months – close to the usual duration of its wrinkle-fighting effects. As an added bonus, the injections also appeared to reverse damage to elasticity caused by UV radiation exposure for about the same amount of time.
This is fabulous news for those of us getting or considering Botox. And if you’re looking to treat other conditions, you may be surprised to find that Botox may help with those, too!
Other uses for Botox can be “on-label,” meaning its FDA approved for the particular procedure, or “off-label,” meaning that while the drug is approved, the particular procedure has yet to be FDA approved. And since the FDA approval process is quite lengthy for good reason, physicians may use approved drugs like Botox for “off-label” uses and often discover good outcomes that will later become approved.
Here are 7 other uses for Botox beyond cosmetic:
Eye Muscle Disorders (On-label). Botox was actually first developed to treat crossed eyes (strabismus) and eyelid spasms. By relaxing specific eye muscles, it can help improve these conditions, as well as some forms of blurred vision, for up to 4 months.
Neck Muscle Disorders (On-label). For painful conditions like cervical dystonia, where neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable position, Botox can help temporarily relax the muscle, alleviating symptoms for 3 – 4 months.
Excessive Sweating (On-label). If you find your underarms sweating excessively (hyperhidrosis), even when it’s not hot, Botox injections can prevent the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate. Multiple injections are required, and results may last up to a year.
Migraine Headaches (On-label). The FDA approved Botox injections to treat chronic migraine – one of the most disabling forms of headache. Multiple injections around the head and neck are given about every 3 months to try to dull future headache symptoms.
Overactive Bladder (On-label). Botox injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence that results from an overactive bladder – another FDA-approved use. By relaxing the bladder, it can reduce incontinence by about 2 times less per day and reduce bathroom visits by 1-2 times per day. Treatments should be at least 3 months apart.
Fibromyalgia Pain (Off-label). By selectively weakening and paralyzing muscles, Botox can alleviate spasms and provide pain relief for some fibromyalgia sufferers. Results can be noticed about a week after treatment and for up to 4 months.
Depression (Off-label). Research is showing that Botox might be able to curb depression by literally turning your frown upside down. While these studies are only preliminary and need more investigation, progress toward finding treatments for depression is always a good thing.
Performed by the right hands – Botox is very safe and low-risk, so if you’ve been looking for a non-invasive solution for any of these conditions, maybe it’s time to consider Botox!
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.