While most people know BOTOX Cosmetic as the universal wrinkle fighter and anti-aging favorite of millions, this clear liquid gel can offer so much more. The active ingredient in BOTOX is botulinum toxin, which works by paralyzing the muscle it is injected into. That’s how it stops certain wrinkles from forming when people squint or frown. But muscle overactivity is to blame for many more serious issues than wrinkles, and BOTOX is the solution.
Check out these fascinating uses for BOTOX you never knew about.
1. Crossed Eyes
The condition known as crossed eyes, or strabismus, is one of the reasons BOTOX was born. The first FDA approval in 1989 for the beauty-enhancer-to-be was for strabismus, as well as muscle spasms around the eye. The drug can be injected into the overactive muscles responsible for pulling the eye off to the side.
By relaxing the responsible muscles, the patient’s eye can resume close to normal function again. Early injectees also noticed a side effect of wrinkles going away, later leading to the rebirth of BOTOX as a cosmetic game-changer.
2. Gummy Smiles
Have you ever seen a person’s smile that seemed to be mostly gums? That’s called a gummy smile. The most common cause is a “hypermobile” upper lip that lifts too much when a person smiles. BOTOX can fix this, too.
According to the website of Dr. David Mabrie, a BOTOX specialist in San Francisco, it takes just a few units of BOTOX to relax a hypermobile lip. When the upper lip is able to fall lower, it helps cover up the excess gums, revealing only pearly whites.
3. Excessive Sweating
Where antiperspirants fail, BOTOX is ready to step in. According to a 2004 study, just shy of 8 million people in the United States suffer from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating.
Injecting BOTOX into particularly sweaty regions of the body, such as hands or armpits, can significantly reduce the amount the sweat glands produce.
4. Muscle Spasms
Have you ever felt a little twitch in your muscle that lasts a few minutes? For some people, these muscle spasms are chronic and can eventually lead to major pain or other issues. BOTOX is a great solution, particularly for spasms in the neck, face, and eyelids.
According to doctors responding to a question on RealSelf, BOTOX can be used to help provide relief from the constant twinges for 3 to 4 months.
In 2010, the FDA approved BOTOX for the treatment of chronic migraines, which millions of people in the United States experience. A doctor carefully injects the drug at multiple points around the forehead, temples, back of the head, neck, and even the upper back, reducing tension in the muscles that contributes to migraines for some sufferers.
6. Urinary Incontinence
For many people who experience incontinence, the cause is an overactive bladder that doesn’t function properly because of nerve damage. These people are unable to sense and control the muscles that others use to “hold it.” BOTOX injections can weaken the affected muscles and are a welcome alternative for many compared with daily pills.
More uses for BOTOX seem to be popping up all the time, with research being done for everything from cancer to depression. Expect to see more from this versatile drug for years to come.