You likely already know that botulinum toxin type A, Botox, is an effective injectable that inhibits the muscle contractions that lead to expression wrinkles that may become permanent. Botox injected into the face will decrease forehead and frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes for about three or four months before it needs to be repeated.
You probably also know that Botox is often injected into the underarms, palms and soles of the feet to stop excessive sweating by paralyzing the sweat glands. But Botox has become a multipurpose medication that has many applications-both aesthetic and general health-related. Here are some other ways Botox can be used:
Just this week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Botox to treat adults with overactive bladder. Botox injected into the bladder muscle causes the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity and reducing urinary incontinence or leakage.
Injecting the area above a droopy brow with Botox lifts the brow into a more youthful position and stops the muscles from pulling the brow down. Injecting Botox near the temples may create a more natural-looking brow, rather than brows that arch too high-a tell-tale sign that someone has been “over-injected.”
Used off-label, Botox can cause lower-leg muscles to atrophy a bit, which minimizes large, bulky-looking calves.
It’s not clear how it works, but Botox injections may desensitize the pain receptors that lead to debilitating, chronic migraine headaches. It’s injected in several points around the head in 12-week intervals. And it’s FDA approved for this use.
It’s been a controversial subject, but Botox has been used off-label on the bust line as a temporary solution for droopiness. The pectoral muscles can pull on the shoulders and cause sagging, yet Botox injections cause those muscles to relax so the shoulders don’t slouch and the breasts are lifted.
Small doses of Botox may help people who suffer from intense muscles spasms, like those with clinched fists, uncontrollable blinking or muscle twitches, because of its ability to calm the muscle.
We usually associate Botox with an older generation who want to reverse wrinkles, but more young people are getting the injections to actually prevent the development of wrinkles by stopping the frowning or squinting that leads to them. In fact, reality TV star Kim Kardashian admitted to Botox injections before she turned 30. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the range of wrinkle-preventing options with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon before opting for the most expensive or invasive treatment.