Botox Beyond Wrinkles

And on the 8th day, God created Botox.

Ok, that came many years later, but aren’t we thankful? We have wrinkles to slay, expressions to soften, and a serious need to combat our obvious signs of annoyance. Botox works wonders for our anti-aging concerns!

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However, botox has many uses outside of anti-aging in the medical industry. The botulinum toxin has been used to treat a host of medical issues, including hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), strabismus (crossed eye/eyes), migraines, TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), acne, and to reduce spasticity (contracted muscles)

Spasticity

At the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, OH., botox is injected into the patients specified muscle group(s) to reduce the contracted muscles and involuntary movements. The benefits may surprise you. According to the hospital, regular botox injections can show improvement in a range of motion. The increased range of motion can help improve hygiene for easier toileting and bathing, functional activity such as standing and walking, and to improve the fitting of orthodontics, such as braces and splints. For many children, botox can be advised as the best approach to addressing a child’s functional problems, and there are no limits in activity after the injections.

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Strabismus

Treating strabismus (crossed eyes) patients with botox has proven effective results. Dr. Alastair Carruthers, after injecting 9 adult strabismus patients, showed an average of an 81% improvement 4-5 days after the injection. Further studies show a >50% reduction in ocular deviation in patients who receive injections, and infants and children who also receive botox injections for alignment have long term satisfactory results.

Hyperhidrosis

But how does Botox work for sweating? We all sweat, right? Yes, but for some, sweating can occur abnormally, causing discomfort and embarrassment, especially when sweating through clothing. This abnormal sweating occurs when not working out, and when it is not hot. It is also difficult to control with antiperspirants and prescription antiperspirants.

Botox works to block the nerves responsible for activating sweat glands, which are normally activated when body temperature rises. This is a normal and natural way for the body to cool itself, but in abnormal situations, these nerves are overactive, which causes the excess. Not only can botox be used to treat sweaty armpits, but also sweaty palms, scalp, and the soles of the feet.

Migraines

According to the American Migraine Foundation, botox is a treatment option best used for patients who have more frequents headaches – more than 15 days per month. Botox helps to block the nerves responsible for transmitting pain, but often takes a few sessions to fully work, according to Dr. Blumenfeld. A treatment can last for up to 12 weeks, and multiple treatments can reduce the number of days experiencing headaches by 50%.

Acne

While botox can be a successful treatment for acne, the treatment is usually limited to adults, as teenagers are not the best candidates. Botox blocks the acetylcholine in the skin dermis, which is responsible for oil production.

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With less oil production, there is less of a breeding ground for bacteria, and patients are noticing less flare up. In a study by Anil Shah, MD, Marie Clare reports that out of a group of 20 patients, 85% who were injected with a single dose of botox saw improvement in the size of their pores, and less oil production. Melissa Kanchanpoomi Levin, MD, noted that patients saw a decrease in forehead acne and less oil when receiving injections in-between the brow area for cosmetic purposes. A unique and added perk!

While botox is still the go-to for softening expression lines, the benefits go above and beyond cosmetic purposes. Botox has become a safe, effective, and often quick alternative for a number of therapeutic conditions, and even more treatable conditions are on the rise.

Any questions? Send them my way!

Skin Anti-Aging Strategies

Let’s be honest. We are aging! Our skin shows the most obvious first signs, and there is much that goes into the complexities of skin health. This includes extrinsic (environmental damage, sun damage, and toxins), and intrinsic (cellular metabolism, and hormones) factors.

Skin health and beauty are considered the overall principle factors that represent health and well-being in humans, which makes for a very lucrative anti-aging industry. Thankfully we live in an innovative time where going under the knife is far from the only option.

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There are several anti-aging approaches:

Cosmetological care: Daily skin care, sun protection

Topical: Cell regulators and antioxidants

Invasive/Minimally Invasive Procedures: Chemical peels, IPL (Intense pulsed light), RF (radiofrequency), ablative and nonablative laser photo rejuvenation, injections and fillers

Systemic agents: Hormone replacement therapy, antioxidants

Avoiding extrinsic factors, making life style changes: smoking, pollution, sun exposure, stress, physical activity, control of health

As the above suggests, there are numerous options to approaching aging and skin health. Some are more immediate and require zero down-time, while others require more extensive healing and/or time to see noticeable results.

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The first, most important approach is a daily skin care routine. A daily routine is necessary in protecting against dehydration and environmental damage. In this article posted by Allure, we are reminded that our skin is our largest organ, and it must be taken care of as we would take care of the rest of our body with exercise. Topical antioxidants, which reduce inflammation, used in combination with sunscreens and retinoids help in preventing and even correcting wrinkle formation. I’ll dive more into this next week.

While aging is inevitable, the bottom line is that preventative approaches are at our fingertips. It is a personal journey, and definitely worth seeing a professional to gain the necessary knowledge and guidance that is best for your areas of concern. Most importantly, the journey should be fun and rewarding!

What are your favorite approaches? Great experiences, bad experiences? Let me know!