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Botox injections are the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ASPS also reports that the demand for non-invasive procedures like Botox has gone up since the pandemic. Some experts theorize that the increased interest in Botox has to do with stress-related aging, brought on by the pandemic. Botox has made its way out of the shameful corners of barely-discussed topics to a very prominent place in mainstream conversations about self-care and beauty. However, Botox is good for a lot more than a little aesthetic boost.

 

Botox is an interesting substance. In some circumstances, it’s to be feared and avoided and in others, patients seeking beauty enhancement pay thousands of dollars for it. Botox comes from a toxin that’s produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, says the National Library of Medicine. That very same toxin can cause deadly food poisoning when ingested, but when injected in small doses, it’s used to treat a slew of issues, from cosmetic to medical ones. Here are things you didn’t know Botox was used for.

 

Overactive Bladder

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Those who struggle with urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder and who haven’t responded well to medication, behavioral therapy or exercises can ask their doctor about Botox injections. Botox has been proven to be highly effective in treating this condition, says UCLA Health, and the process of receiving the injections is short and painless. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. A doctor administers the anesthesia inside of the bladder to numb the lining via a catheter. The actual injections only take about five minutes and nearly 75 percent of patients see a major improvement in symptoms following the procedure.

 

Chronic Migraines

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Patients seeking relief from debilitating chronic migraines can look into Botox injections. Do note that The American Migraine Foundation reports that Botox injections are only approved for patients with chronic migraines, which are defined as having 15 days or more of headaches per month. The Botox is injected around pain fibers, infiltrating the surrounding nerve endings and blocking the release of a chemical involved in pain. One session will typically involve around 31 injections in seven important areas around the head and neck. The treatment effects last for about 10 to 12 weeks and work to prevent migraines before they occur.

 

Excessive Sweating

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Sweating under certain circumstances is perfectly normal, like when you’re nervous for a big presentation or after you’ve exercised. However, those who sweat excessively frequently and for no “normal” reason suffer from overactive sweat glands. Botox injections can help with that. Botox blocks the chemicals that tell your sweat glands it’s time to produce sweat. Botox for excessive sweating has been proven to be very effective, says Cleveland Clinic, and the effects from one session can last anywhere from three to 12 months. A session typically takes about 25 minutes and full injections can be completed in that one session.

 

Acne Scars

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While Botox is most commonly known for treating wrinkles and fine lines in patients over a certain age, it can also help those plagued by acne. Acne can be traumatizing for those who suffer from it. Even after acne goes away, it can leave scarring and a reminder of that difficult time when one’s skin would not cooperate. Botox injections have been used to reduce the appearance of acne scars, says the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic surgery. It works by relaxing the skin around the scars, which can minimize the appearance of the scars. Some dermatologists are also using Botox injections to prevent acne, by treating areas of the face that overproduce oil.

Excessive Blinking

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Excessive Blinking can happen for a number of reasons ranging from dry eyes to sleep deprivation to too much screen time. No matter the reason, excessive blinking  can be frustrating as well as distracting in conversation and while carrying out everyday tasks. Botox injections have been proven effective in treating this condition, says the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Botox can block the signals that tell the eye muscles to contract, thereby reducing blinking. Research on the treatments found they are successful in treating excessive blinking but not in treating dry eye.

 

Crossed Eyes

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Crossed eyes – otherwise known as strabismus – is another eye condition that Botox can treat. Those looking for a non-surgical way to treat crossed eyes can ask their healthcare professional about Botox injections. Botox injections work by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called Acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft, which is a gap between two neurons through which nerve impulses pass. This change induces palsy, an involuntary paralysis. In the end, the result is an adjusted eye. First results show up between 24 to 48 hours after injections, but full results can take two weeks to appear. Results typically last for three to four months.

 

Neck And Shoulder Pain

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Those who suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain can tire from taking daily painkillers and can find that other treatments like heat pads or acupuncture are not effective. Botox can help by relaxing muscles that are chronically contracted around the neck and pain, producing what one feels as pain. Botox can also be used to reduce the pain associated with a pinched nerve. In many cases, Botox will need to be used in conjunction with physical therapy to see long-term improvements.

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