Botox is most commonly known for its cosmetic properties and is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the world. Botox is favoured for its ability to reduce signs of aging by reducing facial wrinkles, sagging skins and fine lines. However, little known to most, Botox actually has many other medical properties. Read on to find out about them!
Botox is a neurotoxin derived from the bacteria called Clostridium botulinum and was first discovered in the 1950s. The name Botulinum Toxic has then been shortened to Botox. Botox is injected into the muscle to block the motor nerves from releasing a certain chemical, allowing the muscle to relax and prevents muscular contractions. There are 3 major brands of botox: Dysport, Botox and Xeomin.
Image 1.1: Before & After pictures of Botox patient
Apart from its cosmetic uses, Botox can also be used to help with the following conditions.
Most people believe it is a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors. Teeth grinding is usually associated with stress and anxiety. It is not uncommon, some reports suggest the prevalence of bruxism ranges from 10-20% of general population.
Image 2.1.1: Impact of teeth grinding
With the use of Botox, teeth grinding can be reduced drastically. The ailments that are caused by teeth grinding, such as jaw tensions and pain or headaches, are also hence relieved. This will also shrink the jaw muscle (masseter) and slim your face.
Image 2.1.2: Patient receiving Botox for teeth grinding can also find their jaw becoming slimmer in the process
Botox result typically lasts 5-6 months. During the procedure, Botox is injected directly into the masseter muscle at the angle of jaw. Voluntary jaw motions such as chewing and facial expressions will not be affected. There is no downtime and hence patient can return to work immediately after the simple procedure. Results will take about 2-3 weeks to show.
Image 2.1.2: Location of Injection
Sweaty palm is not just an embarrassing problem, but can also have adverse impact on your career, education or social life. Sweaty palm is experienced by people who have overactive nerves, that signals sweat glands. This causes sweat to be produced more often and in greater amount, and even when the body has no need to displace heat.
Image2.2.1: Sweaty palms
Botox works by blocking these overactive nerves responsible for activating your sweat glands. Botox is injected directly into palm, with a fine needle like your hair size. Sweating will be reduced significantly within a week. Each treatment lasts for about 5-6 month, and return visits are required to maintain its effectiveness.
Botox solves the problem at its root and have been proven to be an effective solution for sweaty palms. Similar treatment can be applied to sweaty armpit, so it is useful to reduce strong body odour as well.
Image 2.2.2: Excessive sweating in the armpits can affect your appearance adversely, and it can be fixed with Botox.
During the treatment, Botox will be injected just under the surface of the skin. Several injections will be administered using a grid pattern around your area of concern. Numbing cream and cold compress will be applied, hence the procedure is tolerable.
After the injections, you should not have any problem returning to your normal life and work at all.
Image 2.2.3: Botox injection on sweaty palm patient.
Chronic migraine is a very serious problem faced by many people, and can have adverse impact on the lives of those who suffer from it, rendering them unable to attend school or go to work.
Doctors believe that Botox, when injected, will block chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain. Botox serves as a roadblock in that pathway, blocking the neurotransmitters before they reach the nerve around your head and neck.
In 2010, FDA approved the use of Botox for chronic migraine treatment.
Overactive bladder can pose great inconvenience to those suffering from it. The frequent and sudden urge to visit the toilet, and in more serious cases, leaking of urine, can seriously get in the way of having a normal life.
Besides oral medication, a more effective way of treatment will be Botox. It is injected into the bladder muscle, relaxing the muscles so that it does not contract as often.
Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is an abnormal, asymmetrical head or neck position.
Symptoms can include:
Image 2.5.1: Torticollis in a child
Botox injection can relax the muscle contractions and solve the problem. It can stop torticollis from long-term progression and can also lead to complete recovery.
Patients that are recovering from stroke may still suffer from limbs spasm. Botox is an effective method to reduce spasms and prevent contractures.
Botox helps in relaxing the muscles without involving the brain. It is administered at areas such as the upperarm, thumbs, fingers and thigh to relax the excessive muscle contractions. After the treatment, patients will be able to slowly resume physical activities and this also helps in their physiotherapy.
Before you go for your Botox session, there are a few things you can do to prepare, to help you during and after your Botox.
As mentioned previously, finding a good doctor will make your Botox experience more pleasant, as your doctor will know the exact spots to inject so that the treatment will be effective and also less painful. A non-certified doctor may also cause further complications after the injection.
Your doctor may need you to temporary stop certain medications before the procedure. Blood thinners for example will be advised to stop temporarily in order to prevent bruising.
It is important that your doctor knows whether your body had been exposed to Botox previously in order to administer appropriate dosage.
What to expect after Botox
After your Botox, there are a few things to take note of to make sure you reap the maximum benefits from your treatment.
The effects of Botox last for different length of time for different people and for different treatment reasons. Attending follow-up sessions allow your doctor to monitor your progress as well as make any necessary correction.
Apart from the possible side effects mentioned above, you need to take note of any other conditions that might arise due to your Botox treatment. Although very rare, there are some people who are allergic to Botox. Report to your doctor immediately should there be anything of concern.