Botox is a prescription medication approved for several different uses. Although the drug is well known for its ability to improve the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, it is also approved for treating many other conditions.
Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about 3-12 months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side effects of Botox are pain, swelling or bruising at the injection site.
When most people think of Botox the first thing that usually comes to mind is wrinkle reduction. In addition to being the gold standard for wrinkle reduction, Botox can also be used to treat a variety of issues, both cosmetic and non-cosmetic. Below is a list of conditions that Botox has been approved for:
Eyelid Spasms: The first use of Botox that was approved by the FDA back in 1989 was for the treatment of certain types of eye muscle problems or abnormal spasm of the eyelids (blepharospasm).
Excessive Sweating: Botox is a temporary treatment option for sufferers of hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Botox is injected into the sweat glands just under the skin to temporarily block the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate the sweat glands. Botox prevents unnecessary sweating for an average period of6-7 months.
Migraines: In 2013, Botox received FDA approval for the treatment of migraine headaches. The treatment involves the injection of Botox into seven different locations including the temples, neck, shoulders and forehead.
Chronic Neck and Cervical Muscle Pain: Botox injections can significantly improve pain levels and overall quality of life for sufferers of chronic pain. When Botox is injected into target muscles, it blocks signals that cause unnecessary muscle tightening; the cause of chronic pain.
Overactive Bladder: Botox is often used to treat several incontinence and overactive bladder symptoms when other types of medications do not work or cannot be taken. Specific symptoms may include a strong need to urinate with leaking or wetting accidents, a strong need to urinate right away and frequent need to urinate.
Muscle Stiffness: Botox is used to treat increased muscle stiffness in the elbow, wrist and finger muscles in people with upper limb spasticity.