With frequent stories circling of people using Botox for reasons beyond relaxing the facial muscles and eliminating wrinkles, Dr Thu-Linh Nguyen, an aesthetic doctor at Omniya Clinic in London, explores the surprising alternative uses for Botox.
Botox, more formerly known as Botulinum Toxin, is a neurotoxic protein that works by paralysing the muscles it’s injected into. Tiny amounts are used to relax the muscles, soften wrinkles and make the skin appear smoother.
That said, Botox has several other non-cosmetic benefits:
Stopping excessive underarm sweating
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is one of the most popular alternative uses for Botox. It works by using Botox injections to block nerve signals and preventing sweat glands from producing excess moisture. Botox treatments for excessive sweating normally last between four to six months.
Preventing chronic migraines
Botox is MHRA-approved for use in treating chronic migraines and injected at the source of pain. This technique blocks the release of chemicals which transmit pain to the nerve endings.
Stopping clenching of the jaw
Jaw clenching can cause excessive wearing of the teeth, jaw pain and headaches. Botox can be used and injected into the masseter muscle which weakens and relaxes the muscle to prevent clenching of the jaw.
Similarly, to how it’s used for jaw clenching, Botox injections into the masseter muscle can also prevent teeth grinding. This can provide a more comfortable alternative to wearing mouthguards at night.
Botox is sometimes used to treat muscle spasms, particularly for face or eyelid twitching, and has also been used to successfully treat patients with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. The effects can last around four to six months.
Botox for an overactive bladder is normally used when other treatments have failed to ease symptoms. It works by calming the nerves that overstimulate your bladder muscles and cause frequent urination. People will normally notice relief within two weeks of their first Botox injection.
Some dermatologists are now recommending Botox as a last-resort treatment for acne. In the same way that it’s used to treat excessive sweating, Botox to treat acne can be used to help prevent the sebaceous oils from sweat from clogging up pores and causing acne.
Although not MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Approved), many people cite Botox as an effective treatment to improve the appearance of a gummy smile. Botox is injected into the upper lip muscles to help them relax and keep the gums covered when smiling.
Aside from these alternative uses, there have also been recent reports of people using Botox to combat bloating
Please note that you should always speak to your doctor before considering Botox as an option for any of the conditions listed above and be aware that not all the Botox uses mentioned are MHRA approved.