11 Uses of Botox That May Surprise You
What Is Botox Exactly?
Once considered only for the rich and famous, Botox is now a widely used and accepted treatment. More than 7 million procedures happened in 2018, and that number steadily increases every year. But what is Botox exactly? The active ingredient in Botox, “Botulinum toxin A”, is a neuromodulator that works by blocking the interaction between nerve and muscle cells. Large doses of this toxin are responsible for the disease botulism, which can cause paralysis and even death. However, in the right dose, dermatologists use Botox to relax the muscles. This makes the uses of botox almost endless.
What are the main uses of botox?
With age, stress, and environmental damage, the skin loses its elasticity and flexibility. As a result, the skin develops fine lines and wrinkles, especially on the face. Botox is known for treating forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet, which are those pesky lines around the eyes that appear while squinting and laughing.
However, there are other ways that Botox can help rejuvenate your appearance. While Botox is the first FDA approved neuromodulator for fine lines and wrinkles on the face, there are newer options that work just as well and are equally safe. These include Dysport, Xeomin, and, most recently, Juveau, also known as “Newtox.”
When you think of Botox, you probably think of the wrinkle-smoothing powers this popular treatment has to offer. Repetitive facial expressions cause expression lines or dynamic wrinkles. By injecting Botox (or other botulinum toxin neuromodulators) into these problematic areas, you can smooth out wrinkles while preventing them from becoming ingrained. While this is the most common cosmetic use, there are several other (non-FDA approved) “superpowers” that have made these agents so famous in men and women alike:
1. Soften Your Jawline and Chin
With age, we lose definition in our jawline area, resulting in a square-shaped jaw. This can change our appearance. And while contouring creates the illusion of a slimmer jaw, we can all use a long term solution. Bruxism – which is the medical term for the grinding of your teeth – can be just as damaging. The constant clenching and grinding over the years increases the size of the muscles around the jawline.
Botox can be injected into the lower cheeks on each side of the face to soften the effects of the muscles. This results in a more contoured lower look and a slimmer, more symmetric profile.
2. Improving the appearance of jowls
While we can develop a square-shaped jaw with age, the effects can extend just below the chin. The sagging skin is called “jowls,” which everyone will get at some point. The reduced collagen and elastin mean the skin would be unable to keep its shape.
While diet, proper hydration, and exercise can help, the right treatment can kick things into high gear. Fillers like Juvederm can help, with a high satisfaction rate. However, Botox can be the real game-changer. By injecting the right doses along the jawline, the skin tightens and pulls up. This gives the appearance of a smooth neckline.
3. The Botox “Nose Job”
As we age, different parts of our body begin to sag, including our nose! When we see the difference in the mirror, we think the only option is a nose job. Nose jobs can be expensive and need significant recovery time. What if there was a non-surgical alternative?
When done correctly, Botox can give a temporary nose lift that rejuvenates your face. In this procedure, we inject a few units at the base of your nose. The process releases the muscle that pulls your nose downward and gives your face a more bright and youthful appearance.
4. Get A “Lip Flip”
The “Lip Flip” is a simple in-office procedure where Botox or other neuromodulators such as Xeomin or Dysport make the lips appear more substantial. In this procedure, your dermatologist will carefully inject small amounts of Botox into your upper lip.
As the muscle relaxes, the lip will curl upward, resulting in a fuller appearance, and a priceless pout. The lip flip gives your lips a subtle, but natural-looking feel. If you’re also trying to add volume and plumpness, try a lip filler injection. Lip fillers such as Juvederm, Volbella, or Belotero can be done at the same time.
5. Botox can help with a “gummy smile.”
When some people smile, their upper lip may thin out. The thin lip creates the effect of the upper lip disappearing, resulting in a “gummy” smile. A “gummy smile” can drop your confidence and even change your mood. Makeup, highlighting, or contouring your lips may not be enough.
Plumping the lip with filler can help with this issue. However, better options are a few units of Botox, injected into just the right spot along the upper lip. This will help the muscles around the lips to relax so that when you smile, your gums will be covered, and more of your lips will show.
6. Turn your frown upside down
Some wrinkles can change our mood, or at least give an appearance of a frown. Marionette lines are wrinkles that start at the outer corners of your lips and heads down to the chin. This gives the presence of a constant frown, even when we’re living our best life.
Marionette lines show with age and can be hereditary. Once treated early, a dermatologist injects the neuromodulator into the depressor anguli oris. These are the muscles that control frowning. The treatment tightens the skin and muscles around the lips. It’s essential to get a detailed assessment before deciding on injectables for marionette lines.
7. Botox Can Smooth Out Your Neck Lines
With age, long horizontal wrinkles can wrap around the neck. Persons with long, beautiful necks, in particular, can feel self-conscious about these unwanted lines. No more turtlenecks! Neck Botox could be the answer.
In the “Botox necklace”, we inject the neuromodulator between these lines that extend around your neck. This relaxes the neck muscles, which can also result in subtle lifting your jowls, jawline, and face as the effects of these muscles are connected.
8. Improve those décolletage wrinkles
The face and neck aren’t the only areas to benefit from Botox. For women, the “décolletage” area is the upper chest area between the neck and breasts. The skin on the décolletage is thinner compared to other parts of the upper body.
Lines and wrinkles develop quickly in this area and can prevent us from wearing our favorite low cut dresses. Décolletage wrinkles are usually hereditary and can form even in our 30s. The lines in this area can also be relaxed when Botox is injected into the chest muscles.
9. Try a Botox “Face Lift”
Botox may be a minimally invasive alternative to facial plastic surgery. While a facelift may last longer, more persons are opting against going under the knife. That’s understandable as facelifts have longer recovery times and a higher chance of complications.
When injected with precision into the orbicularis oculi muscle surrounding the eye, it can lift the eyebrows giving them a sharper, more defined appearance. The procedure also makes the eyes look bright and awake. This may also help with mild upper eyelid droopiness.
10. Reduce The Effects Of Excess Sweating
Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can affect any area of the body, including the underarms, scalp, forehead, palms, soles, and even the scrotum. This condition is uncomfortable and can affect the quality of life. When injected into these areas, the neuromodulators like Xeomin, Dysport or Botox blocks signaling to the sweat glands, and hence reduce wetness in the treated areas.
What makes Botox so powerful is its effectiveness when compared to surgery. In a 2017 study, twenty patients with hyperhidrosis had botox injections on one armpit and surgery on the other. The dose had the same 80% reduction in sweat rates as surgery, even after exercise. This is truly a life-changer in those hot summer months and can save you some money treating sweat stains on your favorite clothes.
11. Make Your Blowout Hairstyle Last
Can botox save your blowout? After spending time and money at your stylist, you would expect it to last as long as possible. But excessive sweating in the scalp can take your blowout from fab to flat.
The cause? Excess sweating of the scalp which can be embarrassing and annoying. It is also expensive if you spend a lot of money on a blowout, and then it barely lasts a day. This is particularly true in the summertime, and in people who exercise often and lead an active lifestyle.
Botox can be used to prevent sweating and decrease oil buildup along the scalp and hairline. By blocking sweat-producing transmitters, it is an effective solution to help keep your blowout looking fresher for longer.
Other interesting uses of botox
In addition to wrinkles, its effect on muscle cells makes Botox an approved treatment for other muscle-related conditions. Chronic migraines, overactive bladders, eyelid spasms, and strabismus or crossed eyes are FDA approved procedures.
Some unconventional uses include reducing foot pain. Research has shown a twofold improvement in pain for persons with plantar fasciitis and may possibly be more effective than steroids. There is ongoing research for even more conditions like an irregular heartbeat, neck spasms, back pain, and difficulty swallowing. While these treatments have nothing to do with wrinkles, it shows the range and versatility of the drug.
Are there any potential complications?
While Botox injection is a safe and effective medical aesthetic procedure, no procedure is without some risk or unwanted effects. Complications are infrequent. However, persons may experience some pain and swelling at the injection site. Other effects include droopy a droopy eyelid, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and surrounding muscle weakness.
To minimize the risk, it’s essential to receive advice and treatment from a board-certified dermatologist. Dermatologists receive extensive continuous training on facial anatomy, and also in the management of any potential complications. More importantly, your dermatologist knows how much is needed, where to perform the injection, and why. Doing your research and seeking consultation before treatment ensures the very best results.
Who should not get botox?
While Botox can reduce wrinkles, transform your appearance, and improve your quality of life, your safety should come first. Your dermatologist will ensure you have the all-clear before any procedure. Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, for example, should not get Botox. If there are any pre-existing conditions, especially neurological diseases, make sure to seek medical advice first.
Enjoy the benefits!
We all want younger-looking skin for as long as possible. With the versatility and accessibility of Botox, it’s a possibility in a few minutes, that can last for several months.
With a high safety and success rate, you can reduce those fine lines that frustrate you every time you look in the mirror. As research continues, those uses of botox will cover both cosmetic and non-cosmetic conditions.
Let’s help you get the right treatment today.
Our lead physician at Eternal Dermatology is a trusted medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatologist in Maryland. For expert consultation and a pleasant, safe experience, contact us, or book an appointment online now. We are conveniently located in Fulton and serve Columbia MD, Clarksville, Ellicott City, Laurel, Bowie, Silver Spring, and surrounding areas in PG and Howard County, Maryland.