Introduction to Botox
Botox has made a name for itself as one of the most easily recognisable and popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments in the world.
Botox gets its name from the Clostridium Botulinum organisms that it is derivedfrom. This naturally occurring toxin is found in the intestinal tracts of certain animals, soil, lakes, and forests.
The Botox brand was the very first to produce a Botulinum neurotoxin injectable. When used for cosmetic purposes, it relaxes the underlying facial muscles to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
However, in recent years, the medical community has found that Botox also has the lesser-known ability to help treat various health conditions and issues that extend far beyond its useful aesthetic applications.
7 Conditions Botox Can Cure
Currently, Botox injections are approved for therapeutic use as a means of treating more than 20 medical conditions globally.
- Crossed Eye and Eye Dystonia
Initially, when it was first approved for use in 1989 by the FDA in the United States, Botox was actuallygeared toward treating eye muscle disorders, including strabismus, or crossed eyes, and eye dystonia, or eye spasms.
The neurotoxin works by preventing the nerves from sending signals to the muscles, which prohibits them from moving. In this sense, it effectively “paralyses” muscles.
Medically, this presents the opportunity for extensive use in relaxing the abnormally tight muscles that cause certain medical conditions, including crossed eyes and eye dystonia.
The eyes each have six muscles that work against one another in opposite directions to keep the gaze straight. If one of these muscles is weaker or becomes damaged by a stroke or other condition, the opposite muscle pulls the eye in the other direction, affecting the gaze.
Botox injections relax this muscle and prevent it from pulling the gaze in the opposite direction.
Individuals who suffer from eye spasms can also benefit from using Botox by relaxing the abnormally active muscles that are causing the eye twitch.
Over time, the nerves will develop new connections with the muscles. After several months the injection’s effects will wear off, and further treatment is necessary.
- Excessive Sweating
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term used for individuals who experience excessive sweating in abnormal situations, such as when it is not hot. For those who have hyperhidrosis, even prescription antiperspirants do not offer relief, and they often experience the embarrassment of sweating through their clothing and dripping sweat.
Typically, when the temperature rises or the body begins to heat up rapidly, the nervous system signals the sweat glands to try and cool the body. For people with hyperhidrosis, these nerves are overly active, resulting in excessive sweating.
Botox injections work to paralyse these overly active nerves, prohibiting them from sending signals to your sweat glands so that sweat is not produced.
This treatment is currently only approved for mitigating sweating issues in the underarm area. However, studies have shown that it is also quite effective in treating sweaty palms.
- Chronic Pain
Myofascial pain syndrome is a debilitating chronic condition that is characterised by muscle pain and stiffness that results from an excessive release of acetylcholine in the area.
This type of chronic pain is traditionally treated with physical therapy sessions and painkillers to varying degrees of success.
Researchers have found that Botox injections offer another option for greater relief from the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome.
The direct injection of Botox into the affected muscle or trigger point relaxes the abnormally tight muscle. It does so by paralysing the muscles and inhibiting the release of acetylcholine to offer prolonged pain relief.
- Drooling in Parkinson’s Disease
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease swallow less frequently due to a loss of muscle function in the mouth and throat. This can lead to excessive drooling, an embarrassing condition that can cause sores to develop at the corners of the mouth, and even pneumonia.
Anticholinergics are typically prescribed to deal with excessive drooling. However, these potent drugs come with various unpleasant side effects, including constipation, memory impairment, confusion, and urinary retention.
By injecting Botox directly into the salivary glands, the amount of saliva produced decreases substantially and drooling is mitigated as a result.
- Chronic Migraines
Botox has brought relief to the millions of individuals who suffer from chronic migraines.
Chronic migraines are severe and debilitating headaches that are experienced for 15 days out of a single month.
To relieve the pain associated with headaches, Botox is injected into the nerve endings in the area. This blocks the release of the chemicals that transmit pain, stopping the migraine before it starts.
For the most effective results, patients typically require more than one Botox treatment.
- Bladder Incontinence
Overactive bladder is a condition that is typically treated using prescription medications. However, some adults with overactive bladder issues either cannot use or are not helped by typical medication.
The bladders of individuals with bladder incontinence either contract without warning or too often. This results in a constant need to urinate and bladder leakage.
Research has found that injecting Botox directly into the bladder muscle is a safe and effective way of treating incontinence issues by relaxing the overactive muscles and the storage capacity of the bladder.
Though not yet an approved treatment, Botox application has most recently even been proven useful in the field of psychiatric medicine.
Antidepressant medications are typically prescribed for individuals who suffer the ongoing feelings of hopelessness and sadness that characterise depression, but these drugs can have harmful side effects.
Of the patients involved in the study, the majority experienced a decrease in depression symptom after being injected with Botox in the area between the eyebrows.
Though there are many hypothesised mechanisms, a reduction in frowning, which can contribute to feelings of depression, is the lead theory.
Where to get Botox treatment?
Though it might not be the first place that comes to mind, your dentist office is the perfect option for Botox in Southbank.
Dentists are licensed medical and facial aesthetic professionals who are fully trained to manage and balance facial aesthetics.
Dentists undergo extensive training to receive the certification required to deliver Botox injections. Their thorough understanding of facial anatomy gives them a unique advantage over other clinicians, making your local clinic so much more than just a place for tooth and gum health.