Botox Isn’t Just a Bully to Wrinkles

BotoxEveryone knows Botox beats up wrinkles. The injectable is so well known around the world that people think it’s been around forever just giving crow’s feet the one/two punch.

Not so. The FDA only approved Botox to fight wrinkles in 2002. However, before that, Botox had been around for a few decades for other medical uses, things you probably haven’t heard about. Since we’re big Botox fans here at Dr. Hetzler’s practice, here are some other interesting facts about Botox.

The origins or Botox

Most people have heard that Botox comes from the bacteria that also cause botulism. This is Clostridium botulinum and it is what Botox is derived from. Surprisingly, these bacteria can be found in their inactive form all through the natural environment, including in cultivated soil and in forest soil, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal and untreated waters. Maybe that’s why your Mom told you never to eat dirt!

Medicinal uses

The fact is, while Botox is relatively new to the aesthetic world, it has been used in the medical world for decades. After scientists discovered that the botulinum toxin type A, when injected in very small amounts, could make muscles temporarily stop contracting, it was tried in various capacities. It is now used for the following therapeutic applications:

  • Blepharospasm (involuntary eyelid spasms)
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Idiopathic rotational cervical dystonia (severe neck and shoulder muscle spasms)
  • Chronic migraine headaches
  • Severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
  • Post-stroke upper limb spasticity
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Overactive bladder

It is also used “off-label” for:

  • Achalasia (esophageal problems creating difficulty swallowing)
  • Sialorrhea (hypersalivation)
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Hepatopancreatic dysfunction
  • Laryngeal dystonia (forceful contraction of the vocal cords)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Oromandibular dystonia (forceful contraction of the jaw, face, and/or tongue)

More about Botox

The commercial form is marketed under the brand name Botox, among others. Botox is made by Allergan.

More than six million Botox treatments are given each year, far and away the most of any cosmetic procedure of any type.

Call Dr. Hetzler at 732-219-0447 to schedule your appointment.

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