Botox is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide with more than 6 million treatments being administered each year. Although used primarily for cosmetic procedures, it’s also currently used to treat many medical conditions, with more treatment opportunities being investigated regularly.
In cosmetic situations, it helps reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily paralysing the underlying muscles. This hugely successful procedure can help give the recipient a more youthful look whilst being minimally invasive. It can be used to decrease forehead wrinkles as well as ‘crow’s feet’ around the eyes and can be specifically targeted to the area needed. The aesthetic benefits are plain to see, however the medical applications extend much further and are likely to develop in the future.
Treating medical conditions with Botox can be incredibly successful and it’s currently used to treat a variety of conditions ranging from spasms to urinary incontinence. When injected into the bladder, it increases its volume capacity therefore reducing incontinence and the symptoms of an overactive bladder. This treatment can last for up to several months depending on the amount of the drug used in the procedure.
Blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids) and Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder spasms) can also be controlled with the use of Botox and patients report relief from their symptoms in as little as three days after the initial injection. It works by paralysing the muscles in the affected areas, helping to reduce both symptoms and pain. Excessive sweating in a localised area such as the armpit can also be treated with strategic injections. Administering Botox affects the glands that create sweat and allows temporary relief for the patient. Whilst the injections don’t cure this condition, regular treatment will help successfully manage the symptoms.
The conditions above only provide a snapshot of the applications Botox can be used for. Studies into its uses are continually being undertaken as it’s proven to be an effective treatment for many muscle disorders related to other medical conditions. As well as cosmetic and approved medical treatments, it is also used off label to treat other medical conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Laryngeal Dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords).
The benefits are clear to see. It has a wide range of uses in both cosmetic and medical applications and research suggests that it will be approved as a treatment for many other medical conditions in the future.