5 Little Known Uses for Botox

By now, the power of Botox as a facial relaxer to treat fine lines and wrinkles is well-known.  Annual sales bypass $1 billion, as patients flock to what has become the standard treatment for quickly smoothing the skin.  However, many may not realize that discovery of this particular Botox use was a happy accident.  Not only was cosmetic treatment with the relaxer not the initial intention, to this day it remains just one of its many medical uses.

While cosmetic patients make up the majority of Botox procedures each year, you may want to discuss the treatment option with your physician if you suffer from any of the following conditions:

Botox for Migraines

In 2010, the FDA gave Botox approval as a treatment for migraine disorders.  Currently, it may be recommended for patients who suffer from 15 or more headache days per month, with each headache lasting at least four hours.  In trials, patients who were treated with Botox experienced up to nine fewer headache days per month.  Completed by precisely placed injections in 31 key areas of the head and neck, patients are encouraged to complete at least two rounds of treatment, 12 weeks apart before reaching a determination of the effectiveness of Botox for them.

Botox for Underarm Sweating

Excessive underarm sweating, or severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis, is a condition that can cause sufferers embarrassment and frustration.   From special clothing options to topical treatments, there is a wide range of products designed to address the issue.  In 2004, Botox joined the list with its FDA approval for the condition.  It works by inhibiting sweat production in the treated area.  Within one month of the initial injection, sweat production is drastically reduced, and dryness continues for up to 201 days. 

Botox for Crossed Eyes

Among the very first FDA-approved uses of Botox was the treatment of strabismus, or crossed eyes.  Careful injection of the medication into the eye muscles allows them to relax and the affected eye to shift positions.  Over time, the effects of Botox will wear off, and follow-up treatments are needed to maintain results.  Still, it is among the safest and most effective treatment options available.

Botox for Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder (OAB) leaves sufferers with the strong and frequent urge to urinate, even when they’ve just recently used the restroom.  Other symptoms such as leaking are also common.  Botox works to ease these symptoms by targeting the overactive bladder muscles that are the source of OAB.  For many patients, just two treatments per year are sufficient to keep symptoms under control.

Botox for Neck Spasms

Neck spasms due to the condition, cervical dystonia, have been successfully treated with Botox since its 2000 FDA approval.  In the condition, neck muscles spasm uncontrollably and often force the head into an unnatural and uncomfortable position.  Relaxing these muscles with injections of Botox can improve head posture while also reducing the intensity and frequency of neck pain.  Patients may receive injections as often as every three months to help ease symptoms.

While Botox may most commonly be recognized for its ability to relax facial muscles and ease the appearance of lines and wrinkles, it has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for many other conditions as well.  To learn more about Botox and how you may be able to benefit from it, contact our dermatology clinics in Baton Rouge or Lafayette, and request a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists.