The surprising benefits of Botulinum Toxin – I am sure you are wondering why we are talking about this today? As we all know muscle relaxing injections are for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, right? Correct, but did you know that there are many more interesting applications for the use of Botulinum Toxin? Some you may already be aware of, but others, particularly the non-cosmetic benefits, may just catch you off guard and peak your interest.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Botulinum Toxin is best known for its beneficial role in combatting the constantly evolving signs of ageing, especially when it comes to wrinkles. It is a purified form of Botulinum Toxin type A which is used to block the release of acetylcholine and, in turn, relax the muscles in that region. It is widely used to relax the glabellar lines formed by frowning (those famously deep single or double vertical lines between our eyebrows that make us look angry), forehead lines and the crow’s feet around our eyes. But the use of Botulinum Toxin does not end there!
BOTULINUM TOXIN FOR BRUXISM
There are many non-cosmetic benefits to Botulinum Toxin injections which are often overlooked and forgotten! One concern which we often treat is teeth grinding…
Bruxism is the medical term for the involuntary habitual grinding of teeth. It can occur whilst awake or asleep. This condition can lead to overly active masseter muscles and may result in TMJ pain, headaches, migraines and dental problems. Excessive use of the masseter muscles can also cause the masseters to have a bulky appearance which can be masculinizing in many patients. The use of muscle relaxing injections into the master muscles can therefore not only alleviate pain and diminish the long-term complications from chronic teeth grinding but can also result in a slimmer, more oval shaped face.
BOTULINUM TOXIN FOR HYPERHIDROSIS
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is a medical condition that benefits from the use of Botulinum Toxin injections. Imagine for a moment the stress and discomfort of no longer being able to find an antiperspirant that is able to do enough. Well, there is another answer.
Botulinum Toxin can be injected just below the surface of the skin where it blocks the secretion of the chemicals that are responsible for activating the body’s sweat glands, causing a decrease in underam sweating. This effect typically lasts 6 – 12 months (which is significantly longer than when botulinum toxin is used in other areas). This treatment is both safe and effective and as I am sure you can imagine, can significantly improve one’s quality of life.
BOTULINUM TOXIN FOR VAGINISMUS
Vaginismus is another condition that is rarely spoken about and often neglected. This refers to the painful involuntary contraction/ spasm of the vaginal muscles, often making attempts at penetration difficult or even impossible. These contractions can potentially be so painful that they can also prevent the physical/gynaecological examination of the area or make it extremely challenging. Muscle relaxing injections into the vaginal muscles are used to relax the muscles that contribute to vaginal spasms. This condition usually requires a holistic, multi modal approach and, as such, is often combined with psychotherapy and the controlled use of dilators to reaccustom the patient to the act of penetration.
Let’s move to some surprising cosmetic benefits of Botulinum Toxin…
BOTULINUM TOXIN FOR BUNNY LINES
Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed the cute little lines that appear diagonally on both sides of your nose? The ones that scrunch up when you smile? Yes, that’s right – those lines that make you look like a cute little bunny? Those lines are aptly named bunny lines and whilst to many they may be adorable expressions of one’s personality, to others they may be more bothersome. Remember beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and helping patients feel like the most confident version of themselves is the name of the game. So, if bunny lines aren’t for you then a tiny amount of carefully placed Botulinum Toxin can minimize their appearance and may just be the answer you have been looking for.
THE LIP FLIP
There are other facial areas where the use of muscle relaxing injections can help improve one’s confidence. Lips are always a hot topic in aesthetics with hyaluronic acid fillers often taking center stage. However, the use of Botulinum Toxin in a select group of patients, either instead of or in conjunction with fillers, may give a more natural looking result. For patients with thin upper lips that roll inwards on smiling, the Botulinum Toxin lip flip is a lovely solution. This procedure involves injecting small amounts of botulinum toxin into the upper orbicularis oris muscle (above the upper lip) to relax it causing the lip to ‘flip’ outwards leading to the appearance of fuller lips.
The use of muscle relaxing injections isn’t also just for women. Brotox refers to the growing trend of men exploring the wonderful world and benefits of botulinum toxin injections. Our male patients are also increasingly wanting to look refreshed and rejuvenated without looking ‘done’. The biggest difference between men and women with regards to these injectables is often in the dose. As men typically have stronger facial muscles, higher doses of botulinum toxin are often needed to achieve the desired, yet still natural looking, effect.
There can be no doubt that we are currently living through incredibly difficult and stressful times. In the midst of all this chaos let’s take charge of those things that make life that little bit better and easier. Whether you choose procedures to boost your own confidence or tackle those physical ailments that you have long ignored there is almost certainly an application of Botulinum Toxin injections that will be right for you.