Living and Wellness Not Just for Wrinkles: How BOTOX Can Help Your Health By Dermatology, July 21, 2017 When you hear the word “BOTOX®” your first thought may be of an injection that minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. And for good reason — BOTOX is among the most popular cosmetic skin treatments today. But in addition to its ability to combat signs of aging, BOTOX carries a number of other medical uses, and may even be used in the treatment of migraines, excessive sweating, and movement disorders. What Is BOTOX? BOTOX, a toxin made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, can temporarily paralyze specific muscles, which makes it a great treatment option not only for wrinkles but for a number of medical conditions. In fact, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that BOTOX became popular for its wrinkle-reducing properties. RELATED: BOTOX for Excessive Sweating Non-Cosmetic Uses For BOTOX BOTOX for Migraines, Eye Disorders, And More Since the 1960s, researchers have found that BOTOX can treat a number of medical conditions. BOTOX is commonly used to treat: Movement disorders, such as cervical dystonia Eye disorders, such as crossed eyes Eye spasms Migraines Bladder spasms Excessive sweating In addition to the above uses for BOTOX, medical professionals hope to extend its uses for other medical conditions, including the treatment of arthritis pain. How Does BOTOX Work? If recommended by your doctor, the procedure will be performed by a medical professional, usually within a doctor’s office. BOTOX will be injected into the muscle tissue. Over time, it will block signals from the nerve to the muscle, ultimately stopping the muscle from contracting. Typically, it takes anywhere from 24-72 hours to take effect, and the benefits of BOTOX can last up to a few months. Side Effects of BOTOX As with any form of medication, BOTOX carries certain side effects, depending on the specific condition it is treating. These side effects may include: Dizziness Nausea Headache Fever Muscle soreness If you experience any of these side effects after a BOTOX procedure, you should contact your health care provider. Visit the website for Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery at UPMC for more information.