Beyond Wrinkles: 7 Surprising Uses For Botox

You likely already know that botulinum toxin type A, Botox, is an effective injectable that inhibits the muscle contractions that lead to expression wrinkles that may become permanent. Botox injected into the face will decrease forehead and frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes for about three or four months before it needs to be repeated.

You probably also know that Botox is often injected into the underarms, palms and soles of the feet to stop excessive sweating by paralyzing the sweat glands. But Botox has become a multipurpose medication that has many applications-both aesthetic and general health-related. Here are some other ways Botox can be used:

Overactive Bladder
Just this week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Botox to treat adults with overactive bladder. Botox injected into the bladder muscle causes the bladder to relax, increasing its storage capacity and reducing urinary incontinence or leakage. 

Eyebrow Makeover
Injecting the area above a droopy brow with Botox lifts the brow into a more youthful position and stops the muscles from pulling the brow down. Injecting Botox near the temples may create a more natural-looking brow, rather than brows that arch too high-a tell-tale sign that someone has been “over-injected.”

Smaller Calves
Used off-label, Botox can cause lower-leg muscles to atrophy a bit, which minimizes large, bulky-looking calves.

Migraine Relief
It's not clear how it works, but Botox injections may desensitize the pain receptors that lead to debilitating, chronic migraine headaches. It's injected in several points around the head in 12-week intervals. And it's FDA approved for this use.

Breast Lift
It's been a controversial subject, but Botox has been used off-label on the bust line as a temporary solution for droopiness. The pectoral muscles can pull on the shoulders and cause sagging, yet Botox injections cause those muscles to relax so the shoulders don't slouch and the breasts are lifted.

Muscle Spasms
Small doses of Botox may help people who suffer from intense muscles spasms, like those with clinched fists, uncontrollable blinking or muscle twitches, because of its ability to calm the muscle.

Wrinkle Prevention
We usually associate Botox with an older generation who want to reverse wrinkles, but more young people are getting the injections to actually prevent the development of wrinkles by stopping the frowning or squinting that leads to them. In fact, reality TV star Kim Kardashian admitted to Botox injections before she turned 30. Be sure to thoroughly discuss the range of wrinkle-preventing options with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon before opting for the most expensive or invasive treatment.

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7 comments | Post a comment
Linda
I think Botox in the hands of the right injector is crucial. I've had by eye/forehead area done by both plastic surgeons and nurse.....the nurse has a much better understanding of the artestry of injecting Botox and filler....she has returned my face to that of 10 years ago!!
Posted January 27, 2013 8:44 PM EST
1
Tara
I believe it's also used for migraines and people who swear profusely. Not sure about the sweating but the headache thing is amazing!
Posted January 25, 2013 12:23 AM EST
2
Lilee
I'm a runner so my calves are overdeveloped and I have always avoided wearing dresses because of it. What doctors in Manhattan are experts at this application? How much does it cost? How long does the effect of botox last on the calves?
Posted April 28, 2012 9:14 AM EDT
3
Kris
I had botox a few years ago and that's exactly what happened to me. I had injection done to my forehead so it would take away the wrinkles, and it basically made my entire forehead droop into my eyes a little. I never got it done again becasue of that.
Posted April 27, 2012 1:33 PM EDT
4
Jina
I'm totally going to see my doctor about botox for my breasts!!
Posted April 27, 2012 12:24 PM EDT
5
Dr. Richard Baxter
Botox is indeed a versatile performer, but I have to add a few notes of caution on some of these statements. The idea of a breast lift with Botox is very questionable; it is supposed to work by improving posture from relaxation of the pectoral muscles, so you hold your shoulders back. Simply thinking about good posture would be better in my opinion. The other thing to keep in mind is that Botox works by relaxing muscles, so injecting above the brow relaxes the muscle that holds it up; you are therefore more likely to get brow droop. A lot of experience and artistry is required to do brow shaping with Botox but when done well it can give very nice results.
Posted April 27, 2012 9:11 AM EDT
6
tina
This is so interesting - I had no idea botox could be used in the breasts and calves. I can't wait to go talk to my Plastic Surgeon!
Posted December 16, 2011 6:43 AM EST
7

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