Think Botox is Just for Wrinkles? Think Again!

Wrinkles? Excessive sweating? Chronic headaches? Overactive bladder? There are many, and maybe unexpected, uses for neuromodulators.

First things first… what are neuromodulators? If you’ve heard of Botox, one of the most well-known names in aesthetic injectables, then you already know. Botox is one of three commerical botulinum toxins (Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) available for cosmetic and medical use. These neuromodulators block the chemical that allows muscles to receive communication from nerves instructing them to contract. When injected, neuromodulators locally and temporarily paralyze muscles. Paralysis might sound bad, but actually has many uses. As wrinkle relaxers, neuromodulators have been wildly popular for many years, however they are now gaining mainstream recognition for their many other uses.

Wrinkle Relaxing
Neuromodulators are perhaps best known for treating the visible signs of aging by relaxing and smoothing deep wrinkles, crow’s feet, and frown lines. By injecting neuromodulators directly into the muscle causes it to relax, smoothing the skin’s outward appearance. This noninvasive procedure has a relatively low risk profile and has minimal to no downtime.

Sweat Reduction
When injected in the armpits, neuromodulators inhibit your nerve cells from communicating with your sweat glands, minimizing the amount of sweat you produce. This treatment is great for people who have excessive underarm sweat and want to find a semi-permanent solution to help control this sometimes embarrassing problem. After treatment, the reduction in perspiration can last up to nine months.

Reducing the Frequency and Severity of Chronic Headaches
Botulinum toxin has been shown to alleviate certain headaches – namely, chronic migraines. Chronic migraine sufferers experience, on average, about 20 migraines per month, and clinical trials showed a steady decrease in the frequency and severity of these headaches over an extended period of time when patients were injected with Botox, when compared with a placebo.

Controlling Overactive Bladder
Other unexpected uses of neuromodulators include treating overactive bladder problems. Injecting a neuromodulator relieves symptoms of overactive bladder by relaxing bladder muscles. Indeed, the popularity of botulinum toxin to address bladder issues has increased so greatly that, if it gets broader approval for non-cosmetic use from the FDA, insurance may cover the treatment in the future.

From psoriasis, to depression, to medication-resistant epilepsy, trial studies using botulinum toxin continue - we are sure to see more applications and uses for treatment with neuromodulators in the future.

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