Did you know that Botox is FDA approved for more than cosmetic treatment? While the anti-aging solution may be a popular aesthetic treatment for preventing wrinkles, the treatment has a long history treating medical conditions.
What makes Botox unique?
Many of these alternative uses are possible because of how the neurotoxin temporarily blocks nerve receptors in muscles. Interrupting communication between the brain and nerve receptors on muscle cells helps restrict unwanted muscle movement from occurring. When used in cosmetic applications like facial rejuvenation, the temporary paralysis freezes wrinkle-causing muscles. As a result, patients who receive cosmetic Botox injections can help stall the development of additional wrinkles and can slow the aging process.
Beyond the world of cosmetic dermatology, Botox has become a popular option for treating conditions related to muscle spasms or overactive nerve activity. Some of the top uses for the solution include:
Normal sweating is the body’s way of staying cool and usually occurs in response to physical or mental duress. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, takes perspiration to another level. Patients with the condition are constantly sweating, regardless of their environment or situation. For these individuals, staying dry can be a difficult and somewhat embarrassing endeavor.
Botox is an FDA approved treatment for hyperhidrosis and is often applied to the underarms, palms and feet to help stop sweating. When injected, the active protein helps block the chemical trigger responsible for sweat production. This approach is considered one of the most successful treatments for hyperhidrosis patients – in some studies, Botox was shown to reduce underarm sweating by up to 87% in patients who received the injections.
Jaw Pain and TMJ
Have you gone to the dentist and seen Botox advertised as an available service? While it may sound odd, the neurotoxin treatment has long been a useful treatment in addressing chronic jaw pain resulting from temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ. This condition is caused when the joint is overworked or displaced and has a chain reaction on other parts of the lower jaw and face. Common side effects that can be traced back to TMJ range from severe tension headaches to difficulty chewing, eating or swallowing and can ultimately diminish an individual’s quality of life. As a result, many facial specialists (included experienced dentists and oral surgeons) have turned to Botox as a non-invasive treatment option.
During the procedure, the injections are administered in the muscles that control jawbone movement. As the muscles are temporarily paralyzed, jaw tension is relieved, giving patients back comfortable use of their lower jaw.
Another FDA approved use of Botox is the treatment of overactive bladder. Like other conditions, frequent muscles spasms are to blame for frequent trips to the restroom. To help reduce these spasms, Botox is injected into multiple location in the bladder muscle. Within one week, patients notice a significant change in their quality of life. The treatment usually lasts between six to eight months, after which patients are encouraged to return for retreatment.
Crossed and lazy eyes
The treatment of strabismus, or crossed eyes, is actually one of the earliest FDA approved applications of Botox. This ocular condition causes the eyes to misalign – one eye remains focused while the other turns away from the object in focus. If left untreated, the brain begins to ignore the input from the floating eye, leading to the development of amblyopia or lazy eye in the misaligned eye.
Botox injections for strabismus has been considered an extremely safe and trusted procedure since the 1970s. During the procedure, the serum is injected into the muscles behind the eye, causing them to relax and allowing the misaligned eye to focus in sync with the correct eye. The results usually last between 3 to 4 months, after which retreatment may be recommended.
Get the Benefits of Botox in Palm Springs
At Aesthetic Art, our goal is to connect patients with effective procedures that address their needs. For more information about the benefits of Botox and its use beyond cosmetic care, contact Dr. Kato’s office and schedule your consultation with our Palm Springs specialist.