Botox tends to be synonymous with wrinkles, but what many don’t know is that this powerful cosmetic treatment has a huge variety of applications, including some interesting non-cosmetic uses. Aside from smoothing out crow’s feet, alleviating frown lines and lifting the brows for a brighter, more youthful look, it is being used all over the US to battle ailments ranging from gummy smiles and excessive sweating to chronic migraines and even depression. Check out these 10 lesser known yet highly effective uses for Botox
1. Excessive Sweating
Axillary hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating, is an embarrassing and frustrating problem that Botox can help to alleviate. It works by blocking nerves which stimulate the sweat glands in order to stop excessive sweating, providing results that can last up to six months. Injections can be made in the armpits, in the crease of the groin and even on the hands to alleviate uncomfortable sweating.
Not only is psoriasis itchy, uncomfortable and very unsightly, but it’s also incurable and leaves sufferers feeling completely frustrated and self-conscious about the condition. Luckily, Botox can help. The toxin minimizes the activity of inflamed cells that cause the condition to flare up, which helps to keep symptoms at bay.
3. Urinary Incontinence
20% of women over the age of 40 suffer from some form of overactive bladder, a condition which causes extreme urgency to use the bathroom more frequently than normal. By injecting Botox into the bladder, it’s possible to dramatically relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder for up to six months. Although there are lots of medications on the market to manage an overactive bladder, many don’t offer complete relief of all the symptoms. Botox can therefore be a far more efficient treatment to manage the condition.
Botox is known to alleviate oil production in the skin, which can help to reduce breakouts in those suffering extreme acne. The trick to success is to use small amounts of Botox and inject them very superficially so as not to affect muscular activity or cause any restriction on the range of facial expressions. For those who have tried a range of dermatology prescriptions and treatments with little effect, Botox could be a great way to curb breakouts, particularly on the forehead.
5. Breast Lift
Breast augmentation surgery is an expensive and invasive procedure, particularly for those who only desire a modest lift to their bust. Botox is a fast, simple and affordable alternative; by injecting it into the pectoral muscles, it’s possible to achieve a gentle, natural-looking lift to the breasts which can last up to six months.
6. Migraine Headaches
Botox has been FDA approved as a preventative treatment for painful migraines. For those who suffer from 15 or more headaches each month, it can dramatically reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, with injections needed only every 12 weeks. Unlike most other migraine medicines, which tend to be taken after the headache has already started, Botox helps to prevent migraines before they even begin, which means that life needn’t be interrupted by chronic migraine pain.
7. Jaw Reduction
By injecting Botox into the masseter muscle, which is the main muscle used when chewing, it’s possible to reduce the overall size of the jaw and soften the outline of the face. For those who have a particularly strong, square or masculine jaw, Botox can help to create a softer oval or heart shape to make the jawline far more feminine.
8. Teeth Grinding
Speaking of using Botox in the jaw, it can also be an effective treatment for excessive teeth grinding. It works by weakening the chewing muscles just enough to reduce grinding without inhibiting the ability to chew food or talk and smile as normal. Results can last for up to four months, and since excessive teeth grinding can do immense damage to the teeth, not to mention cause severe jaw pain, it’s a hugely beneficial treatment for chronic grinders.
Although much research is still to be done on the matter, a 2014 study found that just over half of participants with moderate to severe depression experienced substantially fewer depressive symptoms after having just one injection of Botox between the brows. It is believed that the treatment works because facial expressions have a powerful influence on our thoughts and emotions. By lifting the brow with Botox and creating a brighter, more cheerful appearance, it is thought that participants became influenced by their own facial expressions and felt brighter and more cheerful in their state of mind too.
10. Gummy Smile
When the upper lip rises too high above the top teeth when smiling, it creates the appearance of a ‘gummy’ smile – where the gums appear far larger than the teeth. By injecting Botox into the muscles which control the upper lip, it’s possible to weaken the muscles so that the lip doesn’t raise as high and less gum is revealed when smiling. The procedure only takes a few minutes and can produce results that last for four to six months, but the technique is tricky, even for the most experienced Botox expert. Too much of the Botox could cause the top lip to droop and make smiling difficult, and if it is not injected symmetrically it could lead to a lopsided smile. Despite this, it could still be a valuable treatment for those who feel self-conscious about having a ‘gummy’ smile.