Botox has a long history of uses from medical to purely cosmetic. Originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of eye disorders, Botox has since gone on to be used for many other conditions. Botox is a drug derived from the botulinum toxin. Its ability to temporarily relax or paralyze muscles, when injected, has made it beneficial for medical as well as cosmetic uses.
- Facial Wrinkles are probably the most common condition the public associates with Botox. The FDA approved Botox for the treatment of glabellar lines (frown lines between the eyes) in 2002. Botox is often used to treat other facial wrinkles including frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines. One treatment yields results that typically last four to sixth months with a gradual return of the lines.
- Axillary Hyperhidrosis is excessive underarm sweating. Over a million people in the United States are affected with this often embarrassing condition. The FDA has approved Botox for the treatment of uncontrolled axillary hyperhidrosis in 2004. One study showed that over 92% of patients received relief of symptoms over a two year period, with just four Botox treatments. Patients also reported significant quality of life improvements
- Blepharospasm is an eye disorder in which the muscles surrounding the eyes involuntarily contract. The use of Botox in the muscles surrounding the eye area helps to prevent the eyes from closing or twitching involuntarily.
- Strabismus is commonly known as lazy eye. Strabismus has been treated with Botox since the 1980s. In this condition, the muscles on one side of the eye may be abnormally tighten, causing the eye to pull in one direction. Relaxing the tight muscles with Botox can help the patient to maintain a straight gaze.
- Cervical Dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is a rare disorder in which the muscles of the neck involuntarily contract, causing the head to turn to one side. Injecting Botox into the neck muscles can ease the symptoms of this often painful condition.
- Stroke Victims often have to deal with an imbalance of muscle strength, causing limited use of hands and arms. Injecting Botox into the muscles that are over contracting allows patients to properly exercise the weakened muscles, helping them to regain muscular control.
- Migraines are debilitating headaches that affect over 300 million people world wide. It was accidentally discovered, during clinical trials with Botox Cosmetic, that migraine sufferers had fewer and less severe headaches in the months following treatment with Botox.
The most common side effect associated with Botox injections is temporary bruising around the injection site. Less common side effects include headaches, droopy eyelids, facial pain, flu- like symptoms, sensitivity to light, indigestion and nausea. Rare allergic reactions have been known to occur. The use of Botox is contraindicated in pregnant or nursing women, those with a history of allergic reaction to albumin, children under twelve, and those with an infection at the injection site.