How About Botox
We already love it for its effect on wrinkles, but there are so many other conditions that can benefit from Botox.
Typically when we hear BOTOX®, we think of the world’s most common treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. But the popular neuromodulator has several other medical and aesthetic benefits that are less widely known, and worth learning more about.
The Carruthers & Humphrey History
It’s no secret that botulinum toxin A, or BOTOX® in its most recognized branded form, is best known for its cosmetic application. The popular product, also branded as Xeomin and Dysport, causes muscles to temporarily relax, and has been used by dermatologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and other physicians around the world for over thirty years to decrease frown lines and soften harsh expressions.
These cosmetic properties were first identified by our very own Dr. Jean Carruthers — a groundbreaking discovery that has hugely impacted the dermatological community. Dr. Carruthers was treating a patient for severe eye spasms at her ophthalmology clinic when she recognized the smoothing effects of botulinum toxin A on the patient’s brow furrows. Dr. Carruthers shared the results with her husband, dermatologist Dr. Alastair Carruthers, and together they started a phase 1 research project and were the first to publish their results in the peer reviewed scientific literature. See the before and after photo of the first cosmetic patient treated in the world. Doctors Alastair and Jean Carruthers led the study of further aesthetic uses of botulinum neuromodulators in the upper and lower face and neck.
“Furthering medical science with the use of botulinum toxin has been a wonderful and enriching experience for Alastair and I. Helping so many people truly look and feel better about themselves has been incredibly rewarding” Dr. Jean Carruthers shares. Since being introduced in the 80’s, botulinum toxin has become the most widely used cosmetic treatment worldwide.
We love Botox for its ability to minimize wrinkles and inspire a more youthful, vibrant appearance, but its key benefits don’t end there. Here are few more that we would like to bring to light.
Medical Uses of Botox
Did you know medical professionals have been using Botox to:
Reduce Excessive Sweating
For those suffering from hyperhidrosis, Botox injections offer a simple, straightforward solution. When injected in small doses, Botox essentially blocks sweat gland stimulation. Botox has been used to reduce sweating in armpits, feet, palms and face — including specific targeting to the scalp or upper lip for individuals who experience excessive facial sweating during meals. While not “cosmetic”, this treatment is available at our clinic — ask us if this could be right for you.
Botox’s ability to relax muscles doesn’t just result in smoothened laugh lines and a younger complexion. The injectable has also been associated with reduced muscle stiffness, limb spasticity and contractures in treating cerebral palsy symptoms.
One of the best known uses of Botox is for the treatment of chronic migraines. Its benefit is enormous given that 2% of the population are often incapacitated by these headaches. Subjects can then carry on with their normal daily activities without the effect of oral pain medication on their sensorium.
Limit Back Pain
Other chronic pain can also be relieved by Botox, including back pain and tech neck — a modernday affliction that describes the stiffness we experience in our neck and shoulders from spending so much time looking at our phones. (Yes, that’s what’s causing you discomfort.)
Botox has also been associated with the treatment of depression. In recent years there have been a number of international studies showing that Botulinum neuromodulators have a very beneficial effect on both depression and also self esteem. Dr. Norman Rosenthal and Dr. Eric Finzi of the Georgetown University School of Medicine published a study that connects Botox injections with fewer symptoms of depression in as little six weeks.
Carruthers & Humphrey focuses on a 360° approach. We believe that your overall health and wellness relies on how you feel in your own skin day in and day out. Beyond softening wrinkles, Carruthers & Humphrey uses neuromodulators to:
Replicate a Mini Facelift
Botox relaxes the skin and muscles in your jowls and neck, recreating the effects of a minor face lift without ever going under the knife aka the Nefertiti lift.
Fix Your Gummy Smile
Dentists and doctors alike have also been turning to Botox to assist with “gummy smiles” — or cases where a patient’s upper lip rises past their top teeth, revealing a section of gum when they smile. By softening muscles in the upper lip, patients can smile to their fullest without worrying that the gum above their teeth with show.
Provide a Temporary Nose Job
The injectable can also change the appearance of a hooked nose — a severe overhang often stemming from old age that can cause a harsh profile. When injected between the nostrils, Botox releases the depressor muscle, allowing everything to lift and regain a more natural shape.
Lift Your Brow Line
Those looking for a non-invasive solution to a sagging brow line can also try Botox injections, which relax the muscles that tend to bring eyelids and surrounding skin down. This modern alternative to surgery leaves patients with a smooth, refreshed appearance without the cost or recovery time of traditional procedures.
Mimic breast surgery
We aren’t claiming that Botox can substitute for breast augmentation, but other procedures focused on the chest can be solved with an injectable treatment instead. The chest is a primary region of wrinkles and skin aging from sun damage as you age. Gentle Botox procedures can even out skin and rejuvenate the entire region, making the chest appear firmer and more youthful without turning to surgery.
Other clinical trials currently underway are testing whether Botox injections could cure skin diseases, breast diseases, overactive bladders and more. We may seem biased — after all, we work with Dr. Carruthers at our False Creek clinic — but considering its wide range of practical applications, we think Botox is still an unsung hero that deserves further recognition.