Yes, Botox can!

Published September 21, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Dr. Kaycee Reyes

More uses for this super injectable

B FOR BOTOX AND FOR BENEFITS Because Botox has a lot of off-label uses, it is still one of the top five nonsurgical procedures employed worldwide

According to The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the use of botulinum toxin remains in the top five nonsurgical procedures in 2019, and is still the most used nonsurgical injectable and the most popular procedure among ages 35 to 50.

Who hasn’t heard of Botox? Most of us know that this wrinkle-erasing treatment can make one look fresh and young in an instant, but guess what, it has more uses than you think! From oily skin to migraines, let’s find out what else this mighty injectable can do.

Botulinum toxin is a derivative of bacteria clostridium botulinum, which was discovered in the 1920s. Although it could be fatal in large doses, it is generally safe in small amounts as what scientists found out several decades later to treat crossed eyes. Botox is not a shorter term for botulinum toxin, but rather a brand named after it that quickly gained popularity after pharmaceutical giant Allergan registered the name for FDA approval in 1989 to treat blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking) and strabismus (crossed eyes).

There are different types of botulinum toxin, with type A being the most common, which is used by the Botox brand and others such as Dysport and Xeomin. Botulinum toxin works by temporarily halting the release of neurotransmitter acetylcholine that stops the muscles from contracting. It can also prevent pain or inflammatory messengers from producing a reaction that also makes it work for migraines. Since then, this injectable has gained several FDA approvals for medical and cosmetic purposes such as:

• Glabellar lines, also called “11” lines, which are the vertical lines between eyebrows

• Crow’s feet, or the lines around the eyes

• Excessive underarm sweat

• Cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, which is the involuntary movement of neck muscles

• Upper limb spasticity that includes the elbow, forearm and intrinsic hand muscles

• Overactive bladder

• Chronic migraines

Currently, botulinum toxin is still one of the most known procedures around the world. According to The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the use of botulinum toxin remains in the top five nonsurgical procedures in 2019, and is still the most used nonsurgical injectable and the most popular procedure among ages 35 to 50. The worldwide popularity of Botox has increased its number of off-label uses as well, such as:

• body contouring, that includes upper arm and trapezius reduction, as well as calf and thigh contouring

• rosacea

• adjunctive therapy for UV-induced pigmentation

• face lifting that can improve the overall look by reduced pore appearance, faded lines including nasolabial folds, sharper contours, lifted brows, and wider eyes

• oily skin

Results of botulinum toxin injections are gradual and may vary from a few days to two weeks, lasting for four to six months until it wears off. Side effects are common, but usually mild and tolerable. These may include redness, swelling, rashes, numbness, headache, itching, or other allergic reactions. Regular checks are required to ensure that side effects are managed and desired results are achieved.  

While a botulinum toxin injection may be a simple, minimally-invasive procedure, it can’t be performed by just anybody (and DIY is an absolute no-no too). Choose only from reputable clinics with trained and licensed medical professionals. This is because their expertise allows them to determine the right amount in targeted areas that varies for every individual, and going overboard can result to drastic, unpleasant results.

Moreover, this is not for everybody. Pregnant, breastfeeding, and immuno-compromised individuals are not allowed to receive the treatment. And before you give this a try, ask a lot of questions and discuss with your doctor the procedure, side effects, do’s and don’ts, and the results so you can decide if this is for you.  

Botox Plastica GIF by Dra. Danielle Negrello - Find & Share on GIPHY
 
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