Botox is a common and well-known injectable cosmetic treatment used to treat wrinkles and lines around your mouth, forehead, and eyes.
But did you know Botox was originally manufactured for use in the medical industry? Botox was formulated in the late 1970s to treat strabismus, or crossed eyes. While scientists were testing this treatment on animals, they noticed that Botox injections reduced wrinkles between the eyebrows.
After the success of strabismus treatment, the company Allergan licensed the formula and named it Botox. Botox is only available in the United States, although other variations of similar injections exist throughout the world.
A Botox Treatment Timeline
The FDA first approved Botox for crossed eyes and eyelid twitching in 1989.
In 2000, the FDA approved Botox as a treatment for involuntary neck spasms and contractions, called cervical dystonia. Two years later, the FDA approved Botox as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles between the eyes, also known as glabellar lines.
The medical uses for Botox continued to grow. In 2004, the FDA approved Botox injections to help treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Then, in 2010, the FDA approved Botox as a treatment for both chronic migraines and mouth spasms. One year later, Botox was approved to help with urinary incontinence.
And in 2013, Botox was approved by the FDA as a cosmetic treatment for crow’s feet.
How Botox Works
The main ingredient in Botox, the neurotoxin botulinum, is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This is injected into the targeted area, blocking the signals from the nerves to the muscles.
Scientists discovered that by purifying botulinum and using it in tiny doses, it can produce a therapeutic effect.
When injected into the muscle, botulinum disrupts the nervous system by preventing the release of certain neurotransmitters. Without communication between neurotransmitters and your muscles, your muscle activity stops.
In the case of cosmetic treatments, this site-specific paralysis temporarily “freezes” the muscle activity causing wrinkles, which results in smoother skin.
Botox for Non-Cosmetic Treatments
Dream Med Spa & Laser Center in Plainfield, IL, offers Botox cosmetic injectables and also recommends Botox for a variety of non-cosmetic treatments. Some of the most common non-cosmetic reasons to use Botox are listed below.
Botox for Excessive Sweating
When treating patients with excessive sweating, Botox is injected under the arms. These injections block the neurotransmitters from communicating with your sweat glands to produce sweat.
One study showed that Botox helps decrease sweating by 85%. Treatment typically lasts anywhere from four to six months while the nerves regenerate. As long as you maintain regular treatments, you’ll be able to go longer between injections.
Our medical provider can help you decide whether you should seek Botox as a treatment for hyperhidrosis. In some very rare cases, you may have a serious condition that is causing excessive sweating, in which case you’ll want to seek medical care.
Botox for Migraines
The FDA approved Botox for chronic migraines, which is defined as a patient having headaches more than half the month.
For migraines, Botox is injected around your body’s pain fibers to block the release of chemicals involved in headaches and pain transmission. Botox prevents the activation of your brain’s pain networks associated with migraines.
While Botox has an immediate effect when treating migraines, it can take two to three treatments to maximize the effects.
In some patients, treatment lasts for three to four months, with a 30–50% reduction in headaches.
Botox for Jaw Pain
When injected into the masseter muscles around the jawline, Botox can help with:
- Jaw pain (including pain caused by jaw clenching)
- Difficulty chewing
- Locking and clicking of the jaw joint
These injections around the jaw can also help reduce headaches caused by teeth grinding and clenching.
In addition to the therapeutic effects, Botox can help address the appearance of a square face when injected around the jaw. Botox relaxes the jaw muscles, which gives your jaw area a narrower appearance.
Botox for Cosmetic Treatments
When used as a cosmetic injectable, Botox serves as a wrinkle treatment for dynamic wrinkles.
Dynamic wrinkles are wrinkles caused naturally by your expressions. When you smile, frown, concentrate, cry, laugh, purse your lips, and so on, you’re creating dynamic wrinkles throughout your face.
This is why Botox is often applied around the eyes, forehead, and mouth. Botox can treat:
- Crow’s feet (laugh lines at the outside corners of your eyes)
- Forehead lines (horizontal lines across your forehead)
- Frown lines (deep lines between your eyebrows)
- Mouth lines (lines from your mouth expressions)
- Lip flip (when your lip thins out and flips up when you smile)
- Gummy smile (when your upper lip reveals too much of your gums
When treating crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown lines, and mouth lines, Botox injections paralyze the movement of those muscles, so your skin stays smoother.
You still maintain the natural-looking, flexible movement of your expressions. Your face is simply smoother.
When treating lip flips and gummy smiles, Botox is injected into the muscle of the upper lip to lessen and relax movement. The results offer the appearance of fuller lips.
Botox vs. Other Cosmetic Injectables
Botox is not the only cosmetic injectable that exists on the market. Other cosmetic injectables include Dysport and dermal fillers, both of which are effective wrinkle treatments.
Dysport also uses a neurotoxin to paralyze muscles. It is very similar to Botox. The main differences are Dysport is available worldwide (while Botox is only available in the United States), and Dysport is formulated to spread more than Botox.
Dermal fillers are completely different from Botox, even though they both serve as wrinkle treatments. Dermal fillers inject volumizing gels beneath the skin to help plump it up and smooth it out. Dermal fillers do not have paralytic effects.
Our team of professionals at Dream Med Spa & Laser Center can help you decide whether Botox or another treatment will bring you the results you need.
Is Botox Right for You?
If you’re considering Botox as either a cosmetic or non-cosmetic treatment (or both!). The best way to determine whether it’s right for you is to meet with our licensed medical providers.
Dream Med Spa & Laser Center offers free, confidential consultations to patients who are seeking answers and treatment. Give us a call today to learn more.