Does Botox® Treat Anything Besides Wrinkles?

Feb 02, 2023
Does Botox® Treat Anything Besides Wrinkles?
If Botox® only treated wrinkles, it would still be one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. But it’s not just a one-trick pony. Here’s a look at Botox’s other superpowers.

Even if you’ve never used Botox®, you know that it erases etched-in expression lines and is one of the most popular aesthetic treatments for celebrities and everyday folks alike. What you may not know is that it got its start as a cure for crossed eyes.

At Woodland Aesthetics Center in The Woodlands, Texas, our experienced medical professionals, Ashley Cook, WHNP-BC, and Shelly Campbell, FNP-C, offer Botox treatments for women and men looking to smooth out dynamic wrinkles and achieve a more youthful appearance. 

But there’s more to Botox than mere wrinkle reduction, and we think it’s important to understand this powerful product before you sign up for treatment. To that end, we’ve compiled a brief history of Botox and a look at some of its lesser-known but just as amazing benefits.

How Botox got its start

After a tragic outbreak of food poisoning in Belgium, a scientist studied the victims and discovered the cause — a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum had tainted the sausage they ate. 

Over the years, other scientists researched the bacterium but couldn’t isolate it until the 1920s. In the 1940s, they produced the botulinum toxin in a crystalline form, and in the 1970s, they discovered that the culprit behind food poisoning had some positive medical applications.

They first found that small doses of the toxin could correct crossed eyes and relieve severe eye spasms. Soon, they noticed that patients undergoing treatment also appeared younger-looking because the wrinkles in the treatment area had disappeared, introducing a whole new application. 

The many benefits of Botox

Allergan, the first company to officially license the toxin as a treatment, branded it as Botox and sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for various applications. To date, here are the recognized and approved uses for Botox.

Eye spasms and crossed eyes

The FDA approved Botox as a treatment for strabismus (crossed eyes) and blepharospasm (eye spasms) in 1989. Studies show that targeted injections can achieve the same or better results as surgery.

Neck spasms

A painful condition called cervical dystonia causes your neck muscle to involuntarily contract, forcing your neck to twist and your head to turn to one side. The FDA approved Botox as an effective treatment for cervical dystonia, also called torticollis or spasmodic torticollis, in 2000.

Excessive sweating

If you sweat more than others, you may have hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive perspiration. Botox can help by blocking the nerve signals that trigger sweating and preventing your glands from producing too much sweat. The FDA approved Botox for hyperhidrosis in 2004. 

Chronic migraine disease

Migraine disease can be debilitating, especially if you have multiple attacks. For those who experience 15 or more migraine attacks monthly, each lasting four hours or longer, Botox can prevent the painful attacks before they start. The FDA approved Botox for chronic migraine in 2010, and over 850,000 people have been treated since then.

Overactive bladder

Muscle spasms in your bladder can lead to urinary incontinence — urine leakage. Here again. Botox works to relax spasmodic muscles and relieve the problem. This treatment has been available since the FDA approved it in 2010.

Off-label uses for Botox

Given the wide array of Botox benefits, researchers continually look for new applications. Some areas that show promising results include:

  • Depression
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Abnormal heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
  • Chronic cold hands
  • Painful sex caused by pelvic floor contractions
  • Foot pain due to muscle or tendon contracture
  • Stomach issues involving a contracted pyloric sphincter
  • Facial drooping due to Bell’s palsy
  • Hand tremors
  • Acne due to overactive oil glands

It’s amazing how many medical conditions can benefit from the purified form of a deadly toxin that once caused a tragic food poisoning outbreak.

Botox Cosmetic is still number one

Botox’s cosmetic uses made it a household name, and more than 5 million American women and men per year use it to address the early and unwanted signs of aging. Throughout The Woodlands, folks come to us for Botox treatments that:

  • Reduce lines and wrinkles
  • Minimize their scars
  • Enhance their skin’s texture

By restoring smoother, tighter skin, Botox treats one more condition that typically doesn’t appear on the lists of its applications — low self-confidence.

Our patients walk out of our office feeling better about themselves, brimming with new-found confidence in their appearance. That positive energy spills over into their relationships and work lives, enabling them to face the world with a refreshed and optimistic perspective. 

To find out what Botox can do for you, contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment at Woodlands Aesthetic Center.