Botox has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of several conditions:

— Smoothing of facial lines and wrinkles
— Heavy sweating
— Migraine headaches
— Muscle spasms
— Chronic pain
— Jaw tension

According to the FDA, ideal candidates for Botox treatment are between the ages of 18 and 65. Additionally, you should have a good understanding of the procedure and be aware of possible risks and complications. You should be prepared to have regular follow-up treatments and commit to your appointments for the best possible results. It’s important to discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure with your doctor to be sure that your hopes are in line with what Botox can achieve.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not receive Botox. Additionally, people with certain neurological conditions are not good candidates. If you have a neurological condition, your doctor can tell you whether Botox is right for you.

Botox can help with the following types of facial wrinkles:

— Forehead creases
— Frown lines that appear between the eyebrows
— Crow’s feet
— Vertical lines that appear around the mouth, sometimes called “parentheses”

If the wrinkles you wish to treat do not fall into these categories, discuss with your doctor whether Botox will be helpful for you, as some types of wrinkles cannot be treated with Botox.

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Botox is a popular medication used worldwide cosmetically to help erase fine facial lines and wrinkles. You have likely considered getting Botox to smooth out your facial lines, but have you ever wondered how exactly it does that?

Botox is actually a neurotoxic protein. The scientific name for it is botulinum toxin and it is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. You have probably heard of the disease botulism, a type of food poisoning. This disease occurs when large amounts of the toxin are released into your system, paralyzing your muscles.

Doctors have taken this effect and harnessed it to help, not harm.

Botox uses a very small, extremely dilute dose of the toxin. The dose is so small that no danger from the toxin remains. The toxin prevents the muscles from contracting, by blocking the nerve impulses that control them. Since the muscles can no longer contract, the wrinkles smooth out and fade away.

After several months the nerves will begin sending out new shoots allowing the muscles to receive signals once more. At this point, retreatment is necessary, but over time your muscles will become trained and any returning wrinkles will be much less noticeable. The length of time needed between treatments varies, depending on each individual. Some people will require treatments around the three-month mark, while others will be able to go as long as nine months between treatments.

Botulinum toxin works because it blocks the chemical acetylcholine from traveling from the nerves to the muscles. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine instructs the muscle to tense up or contract. Without acetylcholine, the muscle simply doesn’t retract, which allows it to remain loose and relaxed, softening up the area and easing the wrinkles.

In addition to treating wrinkles, the signal-blocking effect of Botox is also useful for treating conditions like migraine headaches, muscle tension and spasms, and excessive sweating.

Are you concerned about your sweating? You may have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is marked by unpredictable sweating, regardless of the situation or the temperature. The condition can be extremely frustrating.

Sweating can sometimes indicate a more serious medical condition, so it’s important to get checked out by your doctor to rule out the possibility. Sweating is also one of the better-known symptoms that accompany menopause. If your sweating is being caused by a medical condition, treating the condition should reduce your sweating, making you more comfortable.

Fortunately, several options are available to you to help you gain better control over your sweating. Some are available over the counter, but others will require treatment by a doctor or trained professional.

1. Extra-strength antiperspirants — These are available both over the counter and by prescription. They contain a higher dose of the active ingredient to help control the wetness.

2. Medication — Certain medications, known as anticholinergic drugs, act to slightly dehydrate you and can help control sweating. Robinul Forte is an example of this type of medication. Caution should be used, as these medications can also cause dizziness and other symptoms like dry mouth.

3. Invasive procedures — Surgery and a procedure called iontophoresis, which uses electricity to turn off the sweat gland, may be used as last resorts for sweating that is out of control.

More people are turning to Botox to help control their sweating. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Botox as a treatment for excessive sweating that occurs in the underarms. A low dose injection blocks the nerves controlling your sweating. Botox has also been effective for excessive sweating in the palms. Like any medical treatment, some side effects are possible. One injection can help control your sweating for months, although some patients do require follow-up treatments.

When most people think of Botox injections, they think of the main cosmetic use of the drug: getting rid of facial wrinkles. But Botox, made from a potent bacterial toxin, has plenty of medical uses too.

Treating Chronic Headaches

Many people suffer from migraines, an extremely painful type of headache that shuts down a person’s ability to function. A subset of these migraine-suffering individuals do not respond to over-the-counter headache medications or prescription migraine medications. Some of them have frequent, chronic migraines and may suffer from a migraine more days of the month than they feel well. Studies on chronic migraine sufferers have reavealed an unexpected new treatment for chronic migraines: Botox injections. The results of Botox treatment for chronic migraines may last for several months. Botox is not the first line of treatment for migraines, but it is an effective treatment option for those “hopeless cases” that do not respond to the best migraine medications.

Treating Muscular Disorders

Because Botox paralyzes muscles, Botox is extremely useful for treating muscle spasms that do not go away with muscle relaxant medications. Severe muscle spasms can be extremely painful and make it difficult to use the affected part of the body. Botox injections into a muscle will temporarily paralyze the muscle and resolve the unwanted muscle contraction.

Botox can also be used to treat a rare neurological condition called Upper Motor Neuron Syndrome. Individuals with Upper Motor Neuron Syndrome have weak, spastic muscles and poor control of movements. Because the muscles are contracted too much in these individuals, it may become difficult for them to move certain joints because muscle lengthening is impaired. Botox injected into hypertonic muscles can relax them and decrease the level of muscle contraction. Although Upper Motor Neuron Syndrome is an incurable condition, Botox can help treat the symptoms of the disease and restore some level of normal muscle control.

Controlling Excessive Sweating

Botox can also be used to control excessive sweating of the underarms in people who can’t control their sweating with antiperspirants. It was discovered that Botox injections had an effect on decreasing sweat production.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Botox to treat chronic migraine headaches and excessive sweating of the underarms .
The other uses of Botox mentioned are considered off-label uses of the drug, as the FDA has not yet approved Botox treatment for these cases.

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    Meet Dr. Fedonenko

    Dr. Fedonenko is a member of the American College of Physicians and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

    She completed her Residency at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1998 and has since specialized in Cosmetic Dermatology.

    She obtained additional training in aesthetic medicine procedures soon thereafter, and the results of her extensive training and experience show in each and every patient’s face. She’s a doctor that can truly been trusted with your skin care and anti-aging needs.

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