Can Botox help treat chronic conditions?

Can Botox help treat chronic conditions?
Can Botox help treat chronic conditions?

Injectables are effective for fighting against the signs of aging, including smoothing out lines and wrinkles that may form over time. But while most patients are aware that this form of treatment can help improve appearance, they remain unaware of the additional benefits Botox may provide.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 9.5 million people received nonsurgical procedures in 2013, nearly 4 million of which got Botox injections. This form of cosmetic surgery is noninvasive and typically has a much shorter recovery time than those that send patients under the knife. While women accounted for 90 percent of injectable procedures, a rising number of men are seeking this form of cosmetics, with more than 500,000 men receiving injections in 2013. 

As more people request Botox injections, researchers have found ways in which this injectable can go beyond appearance. 

Injections may treat "gummy" smiles
Beautiful smiles come in all shapes and forms, but a rising number of people have sought treatment to reduce the appearance of their gums when they flash their pearly whites. "Gummy smiles," or those that show a little more pink, can be treated by a number of different cosmetic treatments, including gum recontouring and reduction. While those procedures are effective, they force patients to undergo lengthy surgeries, which may lead to a greater monetary and physical cost. However, researchers have found that Botox may be an effective, minimally invasive alternative for those looking to strengthen their smiles.

According to Health Canal, medical professionals conducted a study in which they examined how Botox may help these individuals. The study, which was published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, followed researchers as they injected patients' lips at three sites, then viewed how their smiles changed after two weeks. Participants saw, on average, an 85 percent reduction in gum exposure. Foad Nahai, the editor-in-chief of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, said that this new use for Botox would greatly help patients looking to improve this area.

"The smile is such a meaningful facial expression, and it is very important for the overall aesthetics of our patients," Nahai said, as quoted by the source. "It will be interesting to see how popular the use of onabotulinumtoxinA evolves in this area."

Botox provides relief for migraine sufferers
People who suffer from chronic migraines are plagued by sensitivity to light, inexplicable pain and inability to perform everyday tasks, such as driving and attending work. While these individuals can take painkillers to relieve symptoms, there exists no permanent cure for the condition. However, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Botox may help reduce the number of migraines these people have each month.

Scientists found that trial participants who received Botox injections had fewer chronic migraines than those that received a placebo. They concluded that the procedure provided a "small to modest benefit" for reducing the number of chronic headaches and migraines these individuals had each month. Smart Beauty Guide explained that this type of injection can help provide relief to these individuals, but those seeking this form of surgery should speak to their doctors before committing.