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Leslie Apgar, MD
Alternative Uses For Botox
Pura Vida MedSpa and Cosmetic Laser Center
. http://puravidamedspa.com/

Alternative Uses For Botox

Botox injections are best known for using various forms of the botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. The microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning, produces this toxin.

Noted primarily for the ability to reduce the appearance of some facial wrinkles, Botox injections are also used to treat such problems as repetitive neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder and some causes of crossed eyes. Botox injections may also help prevent chronic migraines in some people.

Botulinum toxin injections block certain chemical signals from nerves, mostly signals that cause muscles to contract. The most common use of these injections is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles, such as

Frown lines between the eyebrows

Crow's feet, the lines that fan out from the corners of the eyes

Forehead furrows, the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows.

In addition cosmetic procedures, which simply improve your appearance, botulinum toxin injections have also been used to treat conditions that affect how your body functions.

Some examples include

Lazy Eye. The most common cause of lazy eye is an imbalance in the muscles responsible for positioning the eye.

Muscle Contractures. Some neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can cause your limbs to pull in toward your center. In some cases, these contracted muscles can be relaxed with botulinum toxin injections.

Hyperhidrosis. In this condition, excessive sweating occurs even when the temperature isn't hot and you're not exercising. Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive perspiration, which is almost totally resistant to all the types of deodorants and other odor controlling medication. It is caused by over activity of the sweat glands and is present in 1% of the population. Strategically placed Botox injections successfully treats hyperhidrosis for the underarms, palms and feet.

Chronic Migraine. If you experience migraines more than 15 days a month, botulinum toxin injections may help reduce headache frequency. The discovery of Botox for the use of migraines came about accidentally as patients who happened to suffer from migraines noticed that their migraines improved after cosmetic Botox injections to reduce brow and forehead wrinkles. Botox for migraines may be less expensive than standard medications and has fewer side effects.

Bladder Dysfunction. Botulinum toxin injections can also help reduce urinary incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw leading to morning migraines, headaches, jaw and TMJ pain. Bruxism is the leading cause of dental damage such as worn teeth and tooth loss. Strategically placed Botox injections relax the masseter muscle. This reduces the effects of grinding and clenching whilst preserving muscle strength.

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