When people think of BOTOX, they usually think about non-surgical wrinkle treatment. What used to be a cosmetic procedure reserved for the rich and famous has become a household name. Men and women alike are scheduling BOTOX injections just as they do any other doctor, dentist, or hair appointment. Because BOTOX is becoming such a common treatment, physicians have figured out that it can be used for more than just wrinkles.
BOTOX is a neuromodulator that is injected in small amounts to specific areas of concern. Once injected, BOTOX temporarily disables the muscles that cause wrinkles and lines. These signs of aging are called dynamic wrinkles because they are caused by repeated muscle contractions when you change facial expressions. According to Dr. Dwight Ellerbe, a board-certified plastic surgeon and BOTOX expert in Anchorage, BOTOX is often used to treat the following cosmetic concerns:
- Vertical frown lines
- Crow’s feet
- Horizontal forehead wrinkles
- Vertical neck bands
The results are not permanent—after about 4 months you will need to schedule another appointment to maintain your appearance.
BOTOX is now commonly used on patients who are bothered by the appearance of a “gummy smile.” Your provider will carefully inject BOTOX into the upper lip muscles, temporarily paralyzing them. This will prevent the contraction of the upper lip when you smile.
Though some experts are skeptical, early trials suggest BOTOX may be able to reduce symptoms in people with depression. The idea is based on the facial feedback hypothesis, which says that an individual’s facial expressions can influence his or her mood.
Patients in their 20s are beginning to request BOTOX injections to help postpone the onset of wrinkles. The concept is simple. By limiting the movement of the tiny facial muscles that cause wrinkles, it will delay their arrival. Though this approach can be very effective, there is no way to completely prevent wrinkles.
Doctors are starting to use BOTOX injections to treat migraines. The theory is that it blocks the pain signals that are sent to the brain and relaxes the muscles in the head, so they are not as sensitive. Some doctors question whether the drug truly works for alleviating chronic migraines, or whether it’s simply produces a placebo effect. During treatment, your physician will inject BOTOX into your forehead, temples, and scalp.
Hyperhidrosis, also known as excessive sweating, is a condition that most commonly occurs in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and underarms. Unfortunately, this issue can affect daily life and cause social embarrassment. BOTOX injections can block the chemical signals sent by nerves to stimulate the sweat glands. If the sweat glands do not receive these signals, they will not produce moisture.
After the injections, the excessive sweating should be dramatically reduced or completely gone within four weeks. The results can last 7 months or more, but this treatment is not a cure. The symptoms will gradually occur, and you may have to repeat your treatment.
TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder, affects the joint in the jaw and can cause daily soreness and discomfort. When injected directly into the muscle, BOTOX can limit muscle function, reducing TMJ symptoms. It is important to choose a board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon who understands the anatomy and is well-trained to perform the treatment.
Countless women suffer from a weak bladder caused by childbirth or natural aging. If you leak when you sneeze, cough, jump, or laugh, BOTOX injections may be able to improve your bladder control. During treatment, you will receive anesthesia to numb your bladder, and your urologist will make small injections in the bladder wall, where the muscle is located. You will begin to notice results within several days.
If you are interested in BOTOX, do your research first. Find a provider who is qualified to perform the injections. Don’t be tempted by discounts and bargains. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.