Uses For Botox - It's Not Just All About Smoothing Wrinkles

Contrary to popular belief, botulinum neurotoxin is not only used to smooth or decrease facial wrinkles. There are four types of botulinum toxin, divided into two types, type A and type B. Type A includes Botox, Dysport and Xeomin and Type B is known as MyoBloc. Botulinum toxin has many uses. Some uses are solely therapeutic and have nothing to do with smoothing facial lines or wrinkles. Other uses are purely for an improvement in appearance.

Either way, the premise of using the botulinum toxin is to paralyze the muscle into which it is injected. So just what are these medical, non-cosmetic uses of botulinum toxin?

Migraines: Botulinum toxin has been used as a safe and effective preventative treatment for migraine headaches. While sufferers of migraines will still need to have their normal medications handy in case of the onset of a headache, the need to take these medications may decrease in frequency or dosage due to the effects of botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is injected into the areas around the temples, forehead, neck, and shoulders. This is an FDA-approved treatment for patients with chronic migraines. As this form of treatment can be prohibitively expensive – at $1000-$2000 a pop every three to six months, it may well be worth for those who suffer from migraines over 15 days in a month. In some circumstances, insurance may cover the cost.

Excessive Sweating: Do you feel as if you sweat more than most people? This condition is known as hyperhidrosis. This could be embarrassing if the areas of excessive sweat include your face, armpits, or hands. Do you constantly ruin the armpit of your shirts or are you reluctant to shake hands due to your excessive sweating?

Then botulinum toxin injections into your armpits, hands, face, or feet may be helpful in reducing your full on sweat to a nice dewy glow!

Urinary Incontinence: For those with an overactive bladder, botulinum toxin injections into the wall of the bladder can decrease the symptoms of this disorder. Symptoms of an overactive bladder include needing to get up at night to urinate, not making it to the toilet in time, and having to urinate frequently. A botulinum toxin injection into the bladder wall, which contains a layer of muscle, is one option for treatment urinary incontinence when traditional medications have been effective.

Muscles spams: For people who have chronic muscle spasm or muscle twitches that are painful and/or interfere with normal daily activities can have Botox injected into these muscles to help stop unwanted muscle contractions. Such conditions can include spasms associated with multiple sclerosis or constant eyelid twitching, known as blepharospasm.

Tennis Elbow: A botulinum toxin injection into the elbow can help reduce the pain from tennis elbow.

Strabismus: In this condition, the eyes are crossed and do not look at an object together. As botulinum toxin is a muscle paralyzer, injection in the affected eye muscles can help realign the eyes and improve vision.

Anal Fissure: An anal fissure is a painful cut of the anus. These normally heal on their own with a stool softener and pain medication. However, for chronic anal fissures, a botulinum injection into the anal sphincter will cause relaxation of the sphincter muscle. The relaxation of the sphincter muscle allows stool to pass more easily so as to leave the fissure undisturbed and able to heal.

Whether the botulinum toxin is used to for medical or cosmetic reasons, the duration of effect is similar, depending on the amount injected into the affected areas. In the United States, only certain conditions will get insurance coverage for botulinum toxin treatment. The cost of medical uses for botulinum toxin can be just as, if not more expensive than botulinum toxin used for cosmetic reasons!

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