When you think of Botox, what comes to mind? Smooth skin? Banished wrinkles? A youthful appearance? While Botox can certainly provide these results, you may be surprised to learn that there’s more to Botox than cosmetic applications. Even if you are a Botox skeptic and prefer to let your skin show age without enhancement, there are many uses for Botox that can improve quality of life, from treating migraine headaches to minimizing excessive sweating.
Windows to the Soul
Botox was approved by the FDA about 20 years ago to treat eyelid twitching (blepharospasm) and crossed eyes (strabismus). Many sufferers of these conditions find them uncomfortable and socially inhibiting, and Botox injections to correct them offered patients increased social confidence and improved self-esteem, as well as an enhanced physical appearance.
Don’t Sweat It
Sometimes the sweat glands under a person’s arms or in their palms don’t work properly and regular antiperspirant doesn’t cut it. Many people seek medical attention for excessive sweating, often in the form of prescription-strength antiperspirant. When even that doesn’t help, there is another option that can help: Botox! Injections in the affected areas can provide relief for up to 200 days, letting you skip the sweat anxiety and focus on enjoying each day instead. Many insurance plans will even cover Botox treatments for excessive sweating.
If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know how truly debilitating the pain can be. It’s hard to get out of bed and open your eyes, much less get anything done, and the pain can last for a day or more. For adults with Chronic Migraine who experience 15 or more headache days a month, Botox is the only FDA-approved preventive treatment shown to reduce headache days. Chronic Migraine patients treated with Botox experienced up to nine fewer headache days per month than patients who were not treated.
Botox injections are very helpful in treating muscle stiffness in the elbow, wrist and finger muscles associated with upper limb spasticity. Botox treatment, along with regular physical therapy, can help patients regain normal feeling in the upper extremities.
More specifically, Botox treatments have seen success in reducing symptoms of cervical dystonia (CD), a sometimes painful condition typified by head tilting, head jerking and neck pain due to uncontrollable tightness or spasms of the neck muscles.
When You’ve Gotta Go…
Certain neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, can cause the bladder to become overactive or incontinent. A healthy bladder that is able to communicate with the brain is relaxed while it is filling, but an overactive bladder contracts involuntarily, which increases pressure and decreases the volume of the bladder. These contractions are often frequent, unexpected and cause urine leakage and tremendous embarrassment in public situations. Botox injected into the bladder in a quick outpatient procedure can reduce the number of these episodes for up to 10 months per treatment.
More than Wrinkles
As you now know, there is a lot more to Botox than wrinkle prevention. If you suffer from any of the conditions described above, we encourage you to talk with Dr. Livingston to see if Botox treatment can help restore your comfort and quality of life. Set up an appointment now.