There’s so much more to Botox that just smoothing wrinkles. Dr Zara Kassam PhD looks at some sometimes surprising uses for this injectable.
Botox was once treated as a taboo subject: Everyone knew about it, but no one admit to using it. Now things have changed—so much so that Botox is regularly the subject of conversation. Botox is best known for smoothing out wrinkles, and is derived from one of the deadliest toxins known to man, but this magical toxin has repeatedly stunned the medical community for its seemingly endless and applications ranging from treating chronic migraines to excessive sweating.
So, let’s expand the dialogue with a growing list of sometimes surprising uses for the ingenious injectable.
- Smoothing and plumping your lips: Fillers aren’t the only way to fake voluminous, youthful-looking lips. Dermatologists can also inject tiny amounts of Botox along the upper lip border to smooth wrinkles which has the added benefit of making the lips appear plumper. This technique is much subtler than collagen injections, and because the technique requires less Botox than other areas of the face, it’s one of the cheaper applications that Botox can be used for.
- Acne: Botox can curb oil production and help reduce those pesky breakouts. Tiny amounts of Botox can be injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions. And although it can technically be used to quell oil production anywhere on the face, the most effective and common area for using Botox to curb oil production, is the forehead.
- Mimic a nose job: As we age our nose can begin to drop and become more hooked, which can change the whole appearance of your face; Botox can help by lifting the nose and taking off years in about ten minutes. For this type of treatment, Botox can be injected at the base of the nose in between the nostril which ultimately release the depressor muscle that pulls the nose downward, making the whole face appear more lifted.
- Temproary Facelift: Botox can give you that temporary face-lift that you may need, Botox can shape the jaw, lift the tip of her nose, and relax wrinkles around the eyes and forehead; however, the only drawback is this treatment is required around every three months.
- Face shaping and grinding teeth: Did you know grinding your teeth can make your jawline wider over time? Dermatologists can inject Botox into the area, which shrinks the muscle and narrows the jawline. The results, which last for a year, can also have other positive effects, like making your cheeks appear more lifted and giving a more ‘heart-shaped’ face as well as relieving the pain and soreness that can result from teeth grinding.
- Tighten jowls: If your jawline has become less defined over the years, a little Botox along the muscles of the jawbone can pull the skin up for a crisp, defined effect.
- Nonsurgical neck-lift: Wrinkles can be temporarily erased with what is referred to as a “Botox necklace.” Tiny amounts of Botox are injected into the muscles above and below the lines that run around your neck; as they relax, the skin looks smoother. This is sometimes called the Nefertiti Necklift.
- Reduce signs aging on the décolleté. With age and sun exposure, lines can develop between the breasts for some women. To smooth them out, doctors can inject Botox into the pectoral muscles giving a nice smooth and even appearance.
- Stop chronic migraines: A Chronic migraine is defined as headaches occurring on 15 or more days each month. Botox injections are an NHS treatment option in parts of the UK to help prevent chronic migraine. Botox may be considered if other treatments are not effective, not well tolerated or cause too many side effects.
The medicines regulator MHRA says there’s evidence Botox is effective at preventing headaches in adults with chronic migraines. Studies have indicated that Botox reduced the number of headache and migraine days, and increased the number of headache free days. Botox also improved patients’ quality of life.
Botox tips for migraine suffers:
- It can prevent headaches and migraines before they even start.
- It will take 2 treatments, 12 weeks apart to determine how well Botox is working for you. If you don’t get treated every 12 weeks, you may not get the full benefit.
- It’s a small needle. People say that the injections feel like tiny pinpricks. That is injected over 31 sites over the head neck and muscle areas. 
- The injections take about 15 minutes, and are done right in your doctor’s
Strange but true. The theory is that it blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain and that it relaxes the muscles in the head so they’re not as sensitive to pain. A doctor would inject Botox into the forehead, temples, and scalp. This is the last line approach for those suffering with chronic migraines and appropriate for patients who have frequent migraine attacks that aren’t improving appropriately with traditional migraine medications.
However, it is important to note this treatment isn’t without its potential downsides. The problem is that neurologists who inject Botox for this reason don’t always consider the cosmetic result, and some patients come in with fully frozen foreheads and dropped brows.
- Temporally stop excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis): Like the way Botox works on muscles, it prevents the message from your nerves from getting to your sweat glands If the gland doesn’t get the signal, then it doesn’t produce sweat, which means there will be no sweat produced in that area.
Doctors use Botox to treat hyperhidrosis (medically diagnosed excessive sweating) by injecting the area – say, the underarms or palms. The results are said to be significant. This usage for sweating has been approved by the FDA, and for many people, it can be a life-changing treatment for people with pathological sweating, and is the next step forward for people who have tried clinical-strength and prescription antiperspirants with no success.
- Haircare: Some people have taken the no-sweating thing a step further and begun getting Botox injections solely for keeping their blowouts fresher and more voluminous for longer by injecting Botox in the scalp and at the hairline. Yes, really. Some women who get Botox in their forehead have reported that they don’t sweat around their hairline and their blowouts last longer. However, if too much Botox is injected in the forehead, you can get heavy eyelids, so It may also be useful investing in a good dry shampoo instead!
- Severely cold hands: Yes that’s right, Botox is injected into a person’s hand to relax muscles that surround constricted blood vessels, the course of poor circulation. When the vessels relax and enlarge, blood flows through the hand and into the fingertips, providing symptom relief. Doctors say the treatment can last up to three months.
- Painful sex. Yes ouch… Some women experience muscle spasms on their pelvic floor or contractions of the vagina that can make sex painful. Botox injections can ease pain by making the muscles stop contracting. While some women may need injections every six months, while others may only need them every couple years.
- Premature ejaculation. Clinical trials have shown that injecting Botox into the penis might relax the muscle and delay ejaculation; Allergan a pharmaceutical company is currently testing Botox for this issue. 
So, whether it’s erasing years off your face, eliminating sweaty armpits and stopping those cold hands, shaping your face, and putting an end to headaches and migraines, Botox may be the answer to one of your dilemmas.
Do you have any experience with the use of Botox for something other than wrinkles, let us know?