How is BOTOX used for non-cosmetic treatment

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.

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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:

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.

About Dermatology

The UPMC Department of Dermatology diagnoses, treats, and manages numerous hair, skin, and nail conditions and diseases. We care for common and uncommon conditions, and our treatments include both surgical and nonsurgical options. We operate several specialty centers for various conditions. The UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center is a comprehensive dermatologic laser facility, offering a full range of cosmetic services and procedures. With UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, we offer a Skin Cancer Program that provides complete care from screenings, diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. Find a dermatology provider near you.