Botox is a neurotoxin made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Injected under the skin by a professional, these bacteria relax the muscles that cause wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet. You may be surprised to know that Botox can do so much more than that! Here are three surprising uses for Botox injections that show the true power of this (usually) cosmetic product.
Relieving Migraine Headaches
Debilitating migraines impact almost three million Canadians. These throbbing headaches aren’t minor issues for most people suffering from them – they’re often incapacitating, forcing people to take sick days from work and stay in bed away from light. Believe it or not, Botox is an effective treatment for relieving these headaches, and it comes with government approval!
Researchers found that small doses of botulinum toxin may help reduce the frequency and severity of chronic migraine attacks. Patients also reported fewer days off from work due to their debilitating headaches. It’s one of the earliest Botox medical uses that the America Federal Drug Administration approved, all the way back in 2010.
Getting the headache-relieving effects of Botox isn’t like your average aesthetic appointment; you’ll need several shots – sometimes around 30 to 40 – in equal amounts around your head and neck, once every 12 weeks. If you have migraine pain in one particular spot, you may need more shots there. You could see results 2 to 3 weeks after your first treatment.
Reducing Excessive Sweating Using Botox
Hyperhidrosis is the condition of excessive sweating, even during days that aren’t hot. Most people with hyperhidrosis will sweat such an abnormal amount that it will drip off them, soaking through their clothes. Even prescription antiperspirant products just won’t cut it for people with this condition, but this is where Botox injections can come to the rescue!
Properly placed injections stop sweat glands from producing too much by blocking the nerve signals responsible for hyperhidrosis. It’s not just in the underarms, but the glands in the hands and feet also respond very well to the injections. However, Botox is most successful when the condition is in one part of the body.
Keeping Overactive Bladders In Check
More than 18% of Canadians aged 35 years or older – and 21.2% of women – have an overactive bladder. While for some, the problem is only a mild annoyance, many others find an overactive bladder can hurt their well-being: it disrupts their sleep, forces them out of social functions, and can become leaky and involuntary. Botox is an effective treatment for overactive bladder and urgency incontinence, no matter what the cause, and it’s been a solution for over 20 years!
Using Botox for an overactive bladder is a more involved solution than the other two on our list. The doctor would perform a series of Botox injections on the muscle of the bladder, using a small needle that they pass through a scope roughly the size of a catheter.
Many are surprised that Botox has been an actual medical treatment for a wide variety of conditions for a long time. If you have one of them listed here, consult your doctor to see if Botox treatments are right for you!