Four Medical Uses for Botox
Known for its ability to turn back the hands of time, Botox is actually quite a versatile treatment. Medical studies continue to find that Botox provides a variety of benefits ranging from migraine relief to muscle spasms. Who knew this wrinkle “eraser” could do so much more? Here’s a look at a few of the conditions Botox can improve.
Eye Muscle Disorders
Botox made its medical debut for the treatment of two eye muscle disorders back in 1989. The FDA approved its use for blepharospasm (uncontrolled blinking) and strabismus (misaligned eyes, commonly known as cross-eyed). It works by relaxing the eye muscles. Who knew Botox would bring so many medical innovations over the following 20+ years?
Back in October 2010, the FDA approved Botox as a chronic migraine treatment in adults. Injections have been shown to be effective in preventing migraines for up to three months. Patients receive injections around the head and neck about every 12 weeks to help dull the symptoms. A qualified specialist administers 31 injections into 7 specific head and neck sites. While this may sound painful, the temporary needle sting is far better than the endless headaches many patients experience.
The British Medical Journal published a study that confirmed Botox injections can relieve writer’s cramp. The condition causes painful involuntary, spasmodic muscle contractions of the fingers, hand, or arm, making it difficult to write and perform other manual tasks. Of the 20 people involved in the study, 14 reported a significant improvement. A year later, half the people continued to receive injections about every four months. While there is no cure for writer’s cramp, Botox can temporarily relax the muscle to provide symptom relief.
Axiliary Hyperhidrosis or Severe Underarm Sweating
In 2004, the FDA approved Botox as a treatment for underarm sweating that can’t be controlled with prescription creams or antiperspirants. Known in medical terms as axillary hyperhidrosis, this condition causes sufferers to sweat up to four times more than normal. Botox blocks the action of the sweat glands, decreasing perspiration. Patients receive about 15 injections per side based on the doctor’s suggestion. The results last up to six months.