Non-Cosmetic Botox Use


  shutterstock_179686010Botox is most commonly associated with cosmetic procedures, used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. What many may not know, however, is that Botox has a slew of non-cosmetic uses that could reduce symptoms of ailments such as incontinence, hyperhidrosis and chronic migraines. Botox is a medication, made up of botulinum toxin, used to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. Botox injections work by blocking certain chemical signals, mostly that cause muscles to contract, from nerves. What many may not know is that Botox is the not the name of the medication itself but rather the most common brand name of botulinum toxin, of which other brands exist. Dr. Shaukat A. Shah, MD, of Total Body Cosmetic Surgery Center says 15 percent of his clientele come in for non-cosmetic Botox treatments, most specifically for treatment of migraines or severe sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis.

  In the case of sweat, botulinum toxin works by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that stimulate sweat. A clinical study looking at 322 adult patients who experienced extreme sweating saw a 55 percent success rate using injections. According to the Botox website, underarm sweating is the only area Botox has been deemed safe and effective for in regard to hyperhidrosis treatment. The ability for botulinum toxin to relax muscles also makes it a viable treatment for chronic migraines, and the FDA has recognized it as such. Studies related to chronic migraines, which are characterized as debilitating headaches that affect approximately 12 percent of Americans, have shown that Botox can reduce headache frequency.

  To treat migraines, botulinum toxin injections are given in the head and neck over the course of several weeks. While patients are expected to see results that last several months, the results may not be long term. The FDA made this recommendation based on two studies published in the March 2010 issue of Cephalalgia that showed a significant number of sufferers acknowledging a decrease in headache days after treatment. The FDA also approved botulinum toxin injections as a treatment for overactive bladder in 2013 after clinical studies demonstrated Botox’s ability to significantly reduce the frequency of incontinence. This decision was made after two studies showed a decrease in both urinary incontinence and the need to go.

  The treatment is recommended specifically for people who suffer from an overactive bladder, which occurs when the bladder squeezes too often or without warning, but do not respond to anticholinergics, medications meant to treat the condition. Botulinum toxin injections help by relaxing the muscles and reducing the frequency of squeezes. This also increases the bladder’s storage capacity. Both lead to less urinary leaking. Other ailments that can be treated with botulinum toxin injections are multiple sclerosis (MS), tremors, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) and some causes of crossed eyes. “Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required,” Dr. Shah explains. “Botox is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect.”

*For More Information:

Shaukat A. Shah, MD

Total Body Cosmetic MEDI SPA

1805 N. California St., Ste. #201, Stockton

(209) 939-3800,