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Botox Benefits Go Beyond Cosmetics

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Women receiving injection of Botox in forehead

Wrinkles, crow’s feet and smile lines often appear with aging. For many years, Botox® and Dysport® have been used to treat aged skin, cosmetically. But these FDA approved treatments can be used for much more than outward appearances. Rick Wilson, MD, FASDS, FABVLM, Director of Cooper Clinic Dermatology and board certified dermatologist, shares the increasing number of benefits of Botox—both cosmetic and medical—that have been discovered.


What is Botox and is it safe?
Botulinum toxin type A, Botox, is a purified protein that blocks impulses to muscles and sweat glands. “Botox and Dysport are highly regulated neurotoxin injections used for both cosmetic and medical applications to temporarily stop nerve stimulation of muscles and sweat glands in small finite regions such as facial expression muscles or underarm sweat glands,” says Wilson. The prescription medicine is injected in the skin by a trained professional and is a minimally invasive procedure that may allow the individual to avoid surgery. The muscles under the skin at the injection site stop contracting, which leads
to smoothing of “frown lines” and “smile lines” with the appearance of decreased aging. Underarm sweating stops in two days and lasts up to six or seven months.

Safe for almost everyone, if performed by a trained and experienced physician or nurse, Botox has become a widely used product. Wilson says, “Botox works to affect a very small area surrounding the injection site, typically about an inch,” making the risks minimal. Temporary side effects may occur such as bruising and injection site pain; however, if any undesirable side effects occur, “they are self-limiting as the nerve control commonly lasts no longer than three to five months.”

Individuals who are pregnant, breast feeding, have neuromuscular disorders and myopathies, allergies to the neurotoxins or have body dysmorphic disorder may be advised to seek alternate treatment options. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the appropriate cosmetic or medical treatment for your individual needs.

Cosmetic applications
Botox and Dysport are commonly used to reduce and control the consequences of aging and stress that occur over time. Benefits of injections include the reduction of horizontal forehead lines, crow’s feet, frown lines and the look of stress as we age. In addition, Botox complements the use of facial fillers for “excellent youthful effects,” says Wilson. By using small doses, only the ability of the muscle to contract is inactivated. Results can be seen in as little as five to seven days with cosmetic applications.

The controlling effects of Botox vary somewhat according to the particular application and individual. Treatment for cosmetic Botox such as forehead lines and crow’s feet typically lasts three to four months. When the lines begin to return, treatment can be repeated to maintain the desired result. The length of time between treatments can increase over time with disciplined timing of injections.

Wilson notes, “The good thing is Botox wears off after a while if you don’t like the results, and the bad thing is Botox wears off, requiring interval repeat injections.”

Medical applications
While Botox is most commonly used for cosmetic purposes, many medical applications of Botox injections also exist: 

  • Axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating)
  • Chronic migraines 
  • Facial muscle “tics”
  • Cervical dystonia (involuntary movement of neck muscles causing your head to twist or turn to one side)
  • Overactive bladder 
  • Excessive grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaw

New non-cosmetic uses for Botox are discovered almost every year. Botox helps pause involuntary movements associated with medical conditions such as cervical dystonia. Chronic migraines and excessive underarm sweating can be hard to manage and affect daily life, but with the use of Botox, these conditions can improve. Individuals who receive Botox for excessive underarm sweat can expect control of sweating to the point of not needing to use an antiperspirant. Dry cleaning costs also drop drastically due to the lack of excessive sweat that can ruin and discolor clothes. Results for excessive underarm sweating can be seen in as little as 48 hours and can last as long as five to seven months. Like cosmetic Botox, the length of time between treatments can increase over time if injections are disciplined and timed.

Botox and Dysport can be used to treat a wide range of cosmetic and medical conditions: wrinkles, fine lines, excessive underarm sweating, chronic migraines and more. This nonsurgical treatment has grown in popularity over the past decade due to its increasing number of safe and effective applications. Botox and Dysport are considered safe for most people but it is important to talk with a qualified medical specialist to determine if either of these treatment options are right for you.

Call Cooper Clinic Dermatology at 972.367.6000 or complete our appointment request form to schedule a Botox or Dysport treatment today.