How Botox Treatments Work
When your body is working at its best, your nerves send signals to your muscles to contract at a regular pace, such as blinking and breathing. But sometimes these signals can get out of whack, and you can begin to blink too much, sweat excessively or experience other conditions, such as incontinence, due to nerve communication issues.
In these cases, Botox can help because it acts like a signal block, keeping the muscles from contracting at all or as frequently, and it can prevent the sweat glands from producing excess sweat. While Botox isn’t a permanent treatment for medical conditions, it is one that’s offering a lot of people hope for relief.
One of the biggest concerns when considering Botox for wrinkles or for relief of any medical condition is, naturally, safety, says Franklin D. Richards, MD, FACS, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Suburban Hospital.
“Educating yourself beforehand about the product and its risks and rewards can help you determine what’s best for you as an individual,” Dr. Richards says. “In the case of Botox, there have been millions of these injections given since its FDA approval, and it is considered a very safe product in the right hands.”
Botox Use: Hyperhidrosis
Also known as excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis is a condition that occurs when your body produces excess sweat that over-the-counter or even prescription anti-perspirants may have a tough time controlling. Your physician can inject Botox into your sweat glands to keep your nerves from signaling the glands to produce shirt-drenching sweat levels. Botox doesn’t keep you from sweating entirely — you can sweat on other parts of your body to cool off when you get hot. You just won’t sweat to the same levels in trouble spots such, as underneath your arms.
Botox Use: Migraines
Chronic migraine sufferers who experience 15 or more days with a headache each month know how painful it is to feel the pulsing and throbbing of a pounding headache. Botox can be used as a chronic migraine treatment for some patients if you are 18 or older and have headaches that last longer than four hours.
Botox Use: Eye Muscle Issues
Other Botox uses for eyes include as a treatment for blepharospasm, or uncontrolled eye twitching, or strabismus, a condition that causes the eye muscles to pull on your eye and cause one or both eyes to cross. Because Botox can relieve muscle twitching and excessive muscle contractions, it can be a vital part of your treatment plan when you have a condition that affects your eye muscles.
Botox Use: Upper Limb Spasticity
Upper limb spasticity can occur when the muscles in your elbow, wrist and fingers become tightened and uncontrolled. In addition to the painful feeling of a muscle that’s constantly being contracted, the spasticity also can cause sudden, jerking motions of the hand and arm. As a nerve block, Botox can help to reduce the incidence of “mixed signals” your brain sends to your arm or arms.
Botox Use: Urinary Incontinence
Incontinence can be an embarrassing, yet common condition that causes your bladder to become overactive, making it spasm and leak urine. Botox can help to relieve these muscle spasms and the pressure the spasms create on your bladder. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis and works for up to 10 months to relieve urinary incontinence symptoms.