Beyond the Wrinkle: The Amazing Versatility of Botox
When most people hear “Botox®,” their minds turn to wrinkle smoothing. Wrinkle reduction is a common reason for Botox Cosmetic injections, but it’s not its only purpose. At Coast Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center, we offer Botox treatments, as well as other top neuromodulators such as Dysport and Jeuveau. Our board-certified dermatologists, aestheticians, and nurses have provided cosmetic and medical services to the Laguna Beach area for more than 30 years, including Botox injections for cosmetic and medical purposes.
Botox’s Surprising Start
Botox is now ubiquitous in the cosmetic industry, but it actually got its start as a medical treatment for crossed eyes in 1985. Researchers then discovered this formulation could treat lazy eyes and uncontrolled blinking later that decade. As doctors continued to inject the botulinum toxin around patients’ eyes, they noticed its positive effects on nearby wrinkles. Allergan licensed, then branded the treatment as Botox in 1989, and started research trials on Botox as a cosmetic solution.
Thanks to these trials, the FDA approved Botox Cosmetic as a temporary aesthetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines in adults in 2002. Botox Cosmetic is the most widely researched treatment of its kind, with 500 articles in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals. The more studies researchers complete on a treatment, the better doctors can understand its safety and efficacy. Botox Cosmetic studies continue to prove the safety of this product for our patients.
Medical Uses for Botox
As of today, the FDA has approved Botox for several medical therapeutic uses, including:
- Chronic migraine
- Overactive bladder
- Bladder leakage (incontinence)
- Cervical dystonia
- Upper limb spasticity
- Severe underarm sweating (axillary hyperhidrosis)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Abnormal contraction of the eyelid muscles (blepharospasm)
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
Physicians may also recommend Botox for other purposes, which is legal as long as the doctor is properly licensed.
Migraines are debilitating headaches, and when they hit several times a month, doctors consider them to be chronic. Doctors can inject Botox to block the release of the chemicals that carry pain signals from the brain to the nerve endings during a migraine. Botox injections can reduce not only a migraine’s intensity but also their frequency as injections can stop migraines before they begin.
Everyone sweats, but at a certain point, it’s considered excessive and becomes known as hyperhidrosis. Botox injections into the underarms can minimize sweating when antiperspirants and topical medications aren’t enough. Botox works by temporarily blocking the release of chemicals that signal the area to sweat. This treatment doesn’t block glands from releasing sweat, it stops the body from even producing the sweat. Results can last for up to one year after one treatment.
Dermatologists can inject Botox into the masseter muscle to relax the muscle and improve TMJ symptoms, including:
- Tension in the jaw
- Headaches from teeth grinding
- Lockjaw from severe stress
Cosmetic Uses for Botox
Medical uses of Botox can provide great relief from troublesome conditions, but most people turn to Botox for cosmetic purposes. At our Laguna Beach, California practice, our dermatologists offer Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, and Jeuveau to our patients seeking cosmetic improvements.
Prevention of Wrinkles
Many patients think they need to wait to start neuromodulator treatments until their wrinkles are well-defined, but that isn’t the case. The right age to start injectables is different for everyone, and if you start early, you can actually prevent wrinkles. One study followed identical twins, one who underwent regular neuromodulator treatments early in life and one who did not. The one who did had fewer and less-defined wrinkles later in life than their twin.
Botox Cosmetic works by relaxing underlying muscles, and if you start this early, you can actually train your muscles to relax. People who undergo regular Botox, Dysport, or Jeuveau treatments can sometimes wait longer between their appointments because their muscles stay relaxed for longer periods.
It’s not just our faces that show wrinkles and other aging symptoms. Neck skin is thinner and even more susceptible to showing aging signs than our faces. In particular, the platysma muscles in the neck become more pronounced as we age and our neck skin thins. Doctors can inject Botox into these muscles to relax them and soften the neck bands they create.
Many people habitually grind their teeth at night, and this can cause an enlarged masseter muscle, which is located between the jawbone and cheekbone. Botox Cosmetic injections to this muscle can create a slimming effect along the jawline. By relaxing the masseter, it will seemingly shrink and result in a more appealing facial contour.
Talk To A Dermatologist To Discover What Botox Can Do for You
If you want to see if this highly-tested and effective treatment can work for your cosmetic or medical needs, contact Coast Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center today and schedule a consultation with a dermatologist for Botox.