Mark J. Hing
It seems like BOTOX® Cosmetics is the little toxin that could. If you thought BOTOX was just for treating facial wrinkles you’d be wrong. BOTOX Cosmetics are now being applied to a number of ailments, the most popular of which are hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and migraines. BOTOX was first approved for hyperhidrosis in 2004. BOTOX for hyperhidrosis can be applied to the under arms, hands, and feet. BOTOX doesn’t cure excessive perspiration, but temporarily disables the sweat glands; effects usually last 4-9 months.
Other treatments for hyperhidrosis include antiperspirants and oral medications. Unfortunately, antiperspirants can’t treat feet or hands, and oral medications like Ditropan® contain side effects. This makes BOTOX the best treatment for excessive sweating on the market.
BOTOX is also being applied to medical problems such as chronic migraines, and more recently back pain and cerebral palsy. BOTOX for migraines was first discovered as an unexpected side effect during initial studies of BOTOX on facial muscles. Researchers are still at odds about how BOTOX works for migraines, but some speculation suggests that just as BOTOX relaxes wrinkle muscles, BOTOX interferes with the nerves that relay pain. Whatever the reason, 80% of migraine suffers find relief with BOTOX.
BOTOX has well documented effects on muscular disorders and new clinical studies are looking into BOTOX for back pain and cerebral palsy. Previous studies suggest that BOTOX reduces pain by keeping muscles from contracting. One physician, Dr. Kevin Cannard, studying the effects of BOTOX on back pain, suggests, “By bringing the activation of these muscles down, to a more normal level, patients tend to have an increased range of motion, as opposed to a decrease range of motion.” Similarly BOTOX for cerebral palsy in children is seen as a muscle-relaxing agent that reduces the rigidity of muscles or unwanted spasms. Only time will tell how effective BOTOX is on cerebral palsy.
BOTOX Cosmetics is definitely not just for wrinkles anymore—sweating, migraines, back pain—the question is just what can’t botulism do!
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