When most people think of Botox the first thing that usually comes to mind is wrinkle reduction. Indeed, Botox is the world’s most popular treatment for eradicating wrinkles and fine lines, has been specifically FDA-approved for treating frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and lines around the eyes (crow’s feet). Botox can also be used to treat a variety of issues, both cosmetic and non-cosmetic. Dr. John Zannis, a New Bern, North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon, shares his list of off-label uses for Botox. *Please note that several of these have not been approved by the FDA.
ACNE Botox can curb oil production, reducing breakouts. “To totally treat acne, you’d need to use doses of Botox so large they’d prevent you from constricting your facial muscles,” says Dr. Zannis. “But tiny amounts of Botox injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions.” Though he’d recommend it for almost any patient struggling with acne, Zannis would likely advise trying another dermatologist-prescribed treatment, like spironolactone or birth control pills, first. And though it can technically be used to quell oil production anywhere on the face, he cautions against using it all over because of potential effects on muscular activity (a.k.a. frozen face). The most effective and common area for using Botox to curb oil production, he says, is the forehead.
GUMMY SMILE A “gummy” smile, one that’s characterized by a smile that shows too much of the gums, usually results from “excessive lip elevation” (when the upper lip rises too far above the upper teeth when smiling). Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the upper lip’s retractor muscles so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced. It can be done in about five minutes and typically lasts for four to six months. Costs range from $200-$300. Dr. Zannis says, “This technique is not for the novice Botox injector. Too much, and your lip won’t raise enough, too little and you will need more, or if injected asymmetrically, you might have a funny asymmetrical smile.”
INCONTINENCE Overactive bladder problems affect up to 20% of women over 40. For severe cases, where medications do not provide complete relief, Botox injections into the bladder wall may provide relief lasting up to 6 months.
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