Non-cosmetic uses of Botox

When we think of Botox, most people immediately think of this as an injectable treatment used to alleviate wrinkles and rejuvenate the face. While this is true (and it is indeed, very effective and quick-acting in doing this), it has many other beneficial uses as well.


Let’s start with understanding how Botox works. Botox reduces the signal from your nerves that usually tell your facial muscles to contract. By doing this Botox weakens your ability to make certain facial expressions. As the skin is not ‘as folded as usual’, any skin lines gradually fill in on their own. Botox can be used before these lines even form, as a preventive measure. This works by reducing repeated muscle movements that would otherwise lead to wrinkling.


We spoke to Dr Donna about some of the more popular therapeutic uses for Botox. Here’s what Dr Donna summarized.


Migraine


Chronic migraine is a disabling condition and can really have a big impact on your quality of life. Botox is now FDA-approved and NICE(UK)-recommended for treatment of Migraines. If you do regularly experience Migraines or have ever before, you’ll know how desperately and quickly a relief is needed.


Even more importantly, using Botox for Migraines works particularly well for preventing migraines. Studies show that Botox injections reduced the frequency of headache days and helped to improve quality of life. Botox can really work wonders. The last thing to note is the injection point locations are often very similar to those used in cosmetic Botox, making the outcome twofold; Fewer wrinkles, fewer headaches.


Blepharospasm


Blepharospasm causes an uncontrolled blinking, lid spasm or difficulty keeping the eyes open. It usually affects the muscles around the eyes. Although the eye lid twitching may start on one side, the condition typically eventually affects both eyes.


It can be particularly frustrating as flare-ups are hard to predict and consequently, hard to alleviate. Botox is used to relax excessive muscle contraction when delivered in tiny controlled doses under the skin. The effects can be seen within 2-3 days and last around 2-3 months usually. Apart from simple lifestyle changes (reducing coffee, stress, etc.) Botox really is the mainstay of treatment for Blepharospasm.


Bell's Palsy and Facial Paralysis


Facial paralysis may occur for several reasons, including trauma and salivary gland inflammation. Bell’s palsy generally results in immediate facial paralysis. Bell’s palsy occurs if herpes simplex virus (HSV) gets reactivated. When this happens, the nerve becomes swollen and “shuts down” rapidly. 


Botox is one of the most effective treatments for patients with Bell’s Palsy and partial facial paralysis. This is usually achieved with Botox creating a lifted look for specific facial features; such as a face lift, eyebrow lift, lift lip. For example, when injected precisely into the orbicularis oculi muscle that surrounds the eye, it can raise the tail of the eyebrow allowing the eye to look more open and awake, and may help with mild upper eyelid droopiness. When used alone, or in combination with fillers, Botox gives lips a subtle pout-magnification by flipping out the lip line, rolling the lip gently outward.

Both the affected side and unaffected side are usually injected to restore facial symmetry. This gives the affected side a chance to learn to move again and prevents the unaffected side from becoming too strong. It is key to carry out facial exercises and stretches to get the full benefits of Botox treatment.


Excessive Sweating


Hyperhidrosis, the clinical term for excessive sweating, can cause patients frustration and distress. There are a few different options for treatment, including Botox. Patients can go from being super-sweaty to nearly dry within a few minutes, with the dose being tailored to the degree of dryness that they want. Common injection sites include the armpits, palms, soles and scalp. Results from a treatment session last around four to six months.


Reduce Teeth Grinding


Botox can be used to relieve jaw aches and pains as a result of grinding and clenching. The use of Botox is becoming more popular for those seeking to create a slimmer-looking profile. Usually 10-30 units of Botox are injected into the lower cheeks of each side of the face to slim the jawline.

If you`re considering Botox as treatment for one of above conditions, do contact us for information. We always provide a free consult before treatment to discuss your aims and ensure this would be the most effective treatment for you.



Dr Donna Robinson

MB, BS, MRCGP, MRCP, DRCOG

Thai license and UK license

MedConsult Clinic Bangkok Thailand

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