Whenever we hear the word botox, the first thing that comes to mind are synges along with the beautiful faces of our favourite celebrities. A surgical and cosmetic treatment that gets its name from the protein used for this procedure called botulinum toxin. This protein when used in a form of drug for a cosmetic procedure, can paralyse or weaken the treated muscle. As a result it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. It's not just the cosmetic surgeries and reduction of wrinkles for which botox is used, but there are various other treatments like migraine, excessive sweating, eyelid spasm and bladder disorders in which this drug is used. As the use of botox is not just limited to making you look young and hiding the appearance of wrinkles, Dr. Katie Baleznay, Cosmetic and Medical Dermatologist, Vancouver, Canada explains about the lesser known uses of botox. Without further ado let us dive right into this article and learn about the medical uses of botox drugs.
#1. Chronic Migraines
Who knew that the drug which has been used for cosmetic purposes for decades could actually be useful in treating headaches caused due to chronic migraine. People diagnosed with migraine know the real pain and suffering caused due to those never ending headaches and have tried numerous remedies to cure them.
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Botox, a drug made out of botulinum toxin protein has been proven to treat chronic migraine conditions in adults who suffer headaches for 15 or more days in a month. Botox is said to work for headaches caused by migraine as it blocks the neurotransmitter chemicals that are responsible for carrying the pain signals from your brain. Botox blocks the pathway and stops the chemical in between so that it couldn’t reach the nerve endings of the area around your neck and head. A botox treatment can help to reduce various symptoms of a migraine attack such as vomiting, sensitivity towards light, sound and smell, nausea.
A botox treatment would not start working instantly and requires the time of about 10 to 14 days to show results. Moreover botox injections are said to help a person in preventing headaches caused due to chronic migraine after 3 months of therapy.
It is important to know that there are around 31 injections involved in the treatment of migraine done through botox which are injected at various sites such as forehead, neck, upper back, back of the head, above the nose and temples.
#2. Hyperhidrosis or Excessive Sweating
Before jumping into the ways in which botox treatment can help you to cure the hyperhidrosis condition, let us take a look at what it actually means. Hyperhidrosis is a condition of that has no relation with a person’s body temperature or physical activity. People with this condition have visible sweating that might interfere in daily life activities such as holding a pen, turning a door knob and even holding that phone. In this condition a person’s sweat glands work overtime without any reason and produce excessive sweat.
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The botox drug made with botulinum toxin is proven to be helpful in treating this condition. This drug helps to block the nerve signals that are responsible for sweating and stops the sweat glands from producing excessive sweat.
The botox injection is injected at the site of your body where the problem of excessive sweating actually pertains due to hyperhidrosis. Due to this the overactive nerves that signal the glands to produce excessive sweat are paralyzed. The important point to remember is that this botox treatment when done to treat hyperhidrosis only works at the site of injection asit only paralyzes the nerves of that specific region.
#3. Cervical Dystonia
Cervical Dystonia is a condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily and causes pain. Where some light exercises can help to treat the condition of mild cervical, a proper treatment might be required to treat its advanced stages. Using the botox drug to treat this condition can help in reducing the pain in the neck and relaxing those muscles.
When injected at the sight of pain in small quantities, botox injection aims to weaken the contraction and block the nerve signals sent to the brain from neck muscles. Botox injection is not a cure for cervical dystonia but is more of a symptomatic treatment.
#4. Overactive Bladder
One of the established treatments in the series of treatment options available to treat an overactive bladder. Also known as the hypertonicity of the bladder, this condition causes a constant urge to pee. This condition of an overactive bladder is mostly observed in women but might occur in men as well. People with this condition experience symptoms like frequent urination, bladder spasms, bed wetting, frequent urge to urinate and even leaking of urine in some cases. The hypertonicity of the bladder can be treated using a botox treatment.
Using a botox treatment to treat hypertonicity of the bladder helps to relax your muscles and buys you some time in order to get to the restroom. A symptomatic relief from this condition can be observed within a small period of a few days.
While getting a botox treatment for an overactive bladder, make sure that you are getting treated by a urologist or a physician who has experience with these types of treatments. As precision is required in these treatments, it is better to get it done from an experienced professional to avoid any side effects.
A very sensitive issue that requires proper care and treatment, depression is something that we all have heard about. Over the years many researchers around the globe have found out that botox can be an effective treatment that can help to cure depression. Not just curing depression but this treatment is also said to elevate a person’s mood.
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The relationship of botox with depression can be explained through the means of the facial feedback mechanism. As feedback is sent to the brain through certain facial expressions. Different emotions like sadness, fear and anger can result in the contraction of facial muscles. This muscle contraction in the forehead causes glabellar frown lines.
This muscle activity is increased in people with depression. Botox treatment helps in blocking these frowning muscles which results in improved mood and reduced depression.
This article is based upon Dr. Katie Baleznay, Cosmetic and Medical Dermatologist, Vancouver, Canada on her instagram profile.