You schedule an appointment, receive Botox® and say “goodbye” to your wrinkles. That is what usually comes to mind when people think about Botox® injections. But the therapeutic use of Botox® can expand well beyond anti-aging treatments at your local medspa.
As you know, there are two types of applications for Botox® treatments; cosmetic and therapeutic. And if you would like to explore alternative therapies to address chronic symptoms, Botox® therapeutic may help you achieve your wellness goals.
Here are seven things you might not know about Botulinum toxin and the potential benefits of getting certified therapeutic Botox® treatments.
1. The History and Discovery of Botox®
Don’t panic! You won’t get food poisoning from Botox® cosmetic or medical treatments. But the benefits of the botulinum toxin were not discovered until the early 1920s. But before that, a Belgian scientist named Emile Pierre van Ermengem is credited for figuring it out in 1895. He studied a botulism outbreak in his country and isolated Clostridium botulinum, the precursor to modern Botox® therapies.
Scientists at the University of California tried to isolate the Botulinum toxin in the 1920s. But in the 1940s, Dr. Edward Schantz finally isolated the toxin in a crystalline form. By the 1970s, doctors were using botulinum toxin to treat patients with eye disorders (strabismus). Researchers then noticed that wrinkles were reduced after injections around the eye area were administered, specifically in the glabella zones (the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose).
A company named Allergan was the first to license the treatment for anti-aging and wrinkle-reducing therapeutics. They called the product Botox®, which was approved for medical and cosmetic uses by the FDA.
2. Botox® Is One of The Most Potent Drugs In the World
If you think that airports have high-level security, you should visit the Botox® headquarters in Irvine, California. Access is understandably limited to the Allergan facility where both Botox cosmetic and therapeutic products are manufactured. And for a good reason.
Did you know that a dose the size of a children’s aspirin of pure toxin is enough to supply the world with Botox® treatments for a year? In 2001, the American Medical Association stated that one gram of the crystallized toxin dispersed could kill more than 1 million people.
That means the U.S. government highly regulates Allergan products and manufacturing processes. Whenever even a small supply of botulinum toxin is sent to Allergan laboratories in Ireland or between manufacturing facilities, it is an armed escort to protect against theft and bioterrorism. And the company is required to report all activities to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The FDA has approved Botox® for cosmetic and therapeutic patient care, specifically Botox injections. Each vial contains 100 Units (U) of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin complex, 0.5 milligrams of Albumin (protein), and 0.9 milligrams of sodium chloride.
Allergan has about 90% of the market for medical use of neurotoxins and 75% of the market share of neurotoxins for cosmetic use. And only certified medical professionals can administer Botox® injections to patients. The certification process includes clinical training, testing, and doctor supervision.
3. Botox® Can Be Effective for Migraines
A headache is just a headache and uncomfortable. But if you or someone you know suffers from clinical migraines, you understand that a migraine is more than a headache. It has debilitating symptoms, including nausea, facial pain, photosensitivity, neck pain, and more.
On October 16, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved onabotulinumtoxin A for treating clinical migraines. Patients who suffer chronic migraines with symptoms lasting fifteen (15) days or longer each month (lasting more than four hours) may be candidates for treatment with Botox® therapies.
4. Non-Surgical Chin Lift
If you have lost volume in your lower cheeks, one of the first things you will start to notice is a little more under the chin. Or a slight sagging around the jowls of your face. That puts more pressure on your upper face as gravity pulls down your skin. And it can contribute to deeper wrinkles and creases over time.
Administering Botox® around the jawline and surrounding areas can create dramatic changes and tighten the skin. Without fillers and invasive surgery, Botox® can be a minimally invasive and cost-effective alternative to plastic surgery. Without an extensive recovery period or downtime.
5. Botox® Can Help With Intractable Muscular Pain
Intractable pain is a chronic condition where other types of therapy (anti-inflammatories and NSAIDs) are ineffective. Or where traditional treatments haven’t worked to reduce pain symptoms significantly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50 million Americans live with chronic pain. Or about 21% of the population. And women and seniors are most impacted by debilitating pain symptoms that do not improve with medical care.
For decades, Botulinum toxin (BoNT) has been used for cosmetic purposes (anti-aging treatments) and the treatment of seizures and other types of involuntary muscle spasm and contraction disorders (dystonia). Researchers believed the pain relief after using BoNT was because the toxin helped relieve muscle tension.
New research has suggested that Botulinum toxin may have an analgesic effect. Small amounts administered directly to the source area can also help patients with neuropathic pain. It may be a therapeutic choice for patients with Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and complex regional pain syndrome.
6. Improving Bladder Control and Incontinence With Botox®
As we get older, sometimes we experience problems with bladder control, also known as incontinence. An overactive bladder can be an embarrassing and inconvenient condition. One sneeze or cough without wearing bladder protection is a big problem.
Botox® can be clinically used to help muscles relax and reduce the sensation of urgency to urinate. There is some mild discomfort at the site of injection on the abdomen, and some patients experience mild cramping 1-2 days after treatment.
Treatment for male incontinence is not recommended if the patient has a risk or history of prostate disorders. Consult your primary care provider or a Urologist to learn more about trying Botox® treatments for incontinence.
7. Botox® Provides Lasting Results
Botox used cosmetically can dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and facial wrinkles. To maintain the look you have achieved at Bloom MedSpa, you will want to schedule future treatments.
But what happens if you actually stop using Botox altogether? Some patients are concerned that they will quickly revert to their former appearance. Or in some cases, wrinkles and creases may be more pronounced after they stop receiving Botox treatments.
Millions of Botox procedures have been completed worldwide, with rare contraindications or side effects for patients. If you stop getting Botox treatments, fine lines and wrinkles will reappear (but not rapidly) as facial muscle tension relaxes. But most patients find that their appearance is still improved compared to the number and depth of wrinkles and lines they had before they started Botox cosmetic.
And if you need to pause for some time, you can always resume when you are ready. And for longer lasting results, patients can also consider fillers. The average maintenance required to sustain tighter facial skin with fillers is once every eighteen months, depending on age and skin condition.
At Bloom MedSpa, we provide a free consultation for new patients. Your clinician will discuss your goals to determine if Botox® cosmetic or treatments may help. Members of our VIP Loyalty Rewards Program can also earn points to discount future treatments to help maintain results.