When Botox first broke through into the mainstream, people debated its validity and the pros and cons of the purified form of botulinum, a neurotoxin, which at the time many deemed unnecessary and unsafe for use. In the medical world, the growing trend towards using Botox sparked many new ideas and studies that prove its effectiveness as a minimally invasive treatment method.
Botox has evolved beyond banishing wrinkles – check out our list of surprising uses for Botox to learn more and see if this injection could provide you with a modern treatment for your health issues.
Excessive Underarm Sweating
A discovery was made while treating patients suffering from facial spasms. The patients showed signs of decreased sweating over the course of their treatment. Researchers at Allergan and other centers began considering this as a possible treatment for a condition called axillary hyperhidrosis, in which sufferers sweat excessively and uncontrollably. The FDA has approved this treatment and it is now also used to treat the sweating of the hands and feet.
Though the FDA has not approved the use of Botox as treatment for depression, a study was conducted and showed promising results. The concept of using Botox as treatment for depression is based on the idea that facial muscles send signals to the brain that reinforce emotions. Botox treatments interfere with this cycle.
Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is defined as eyes that do not line up at the same direction. This is one of the first medical conditions to get FDA approval for Botox treatments.
It is thought that injecting Botox into the penis may relax the muscle which in turn would delay ejaculation, though tests are still ongoing. Allergan currently holds a patent for erectile dysfunction, believing Botox could relieve this issue too. A third party clinical trial is being conducted before any definitive claims are made, but things are looking promising.
In 2000, Botox was approved for treating cervical dystonia, a condition characterized by a misalignment of the head and severe neck pain as a result. Given that Botox for cosmetic use on the face wasn’t approved until 2002, it is clear that Botox does work as a pain reliever in its original use. It is thought that the success of Botox on migraines works in a similar way, inhibiting pain signals from the brain, rather the contracting muscles and tension itself like medical professionals had previously thought.
Similar to neck spasms, the uncomfortable muscle spasms women experience during sex due to movements of the pelvic floor or contractions of the vagina can lead to discomfort, embarrassment as well as a higher number of oral and UTI infections. Botox is used to stop the contractions. Doctors at The Cleveland Clinic have found some women need an injection every 6 months while others only need one every couple of years to keep the issue at bay long-term.
Research is ongoing as to whether Botox should be used as a therapy to prevent abnormal heartbeats following open heart surgery, an unpleasant side effect of the procedure that occurs in some patients. Now that Botox has been tried and tested for almost thirty years, drug producer Allergan is confident of its safety and is looking at its potential for cardiac applications.
It seems that the future for Botox is as bright as it is diverse and in time we should see Botox being commonly used as a treatment for a wide range of health concerns. If you’re suffering from any of the conditions listed above, call us today to learn more and book your consultation!