12 alternative uses for botulinum toxin

Written by Dr Lloyd Nanhekhan

The most well-known use of botulinum toxin is to reduce facial wrinkles. The injections relax the muscles in your face, therefore smoothing out lines and wrinkles. However, there are a wide range of alternative uses for botulinum toxin- read on to find out the 12 additional uses!

1. Manage acne

Tiny amounts of botulinum toxin injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions. Before this, however, the first step would be to use dermatologist-prescribed treatments. Botulinum toxin can technically be used to quell oil production anywhere on the face; however, cautions should be taken against using it in excess and all over the face due to potential effects on muscular activity (a.k.a. frozen face). The most effective and common area to curb oil production is the forehead.

2. Get a temporary face-lift

Botulinum toxin can shape your jaws, lift the tip of your nose and relax wrinkles around your eyes and forehead every three months. This way, you maintain a defined face.

3. Mimic a nose job

Around the age of 40, your nose can begin to sag and become more hooked, which can make your whole face appear droopy; botulinum toxin can help by lifting the nose and taking off years. For this type of treatment, you inject botulinum toxin at the base of the nose (between the nostrils), which can release the depressor muscle that pulls the nose downward, making the whole face appear more lifted.

4. Soften your jawline and chin

Grinding your teeth can make your jawline wider over time; you can inject botulinum toxin into the area, which relaxes and shrinks the muscle in time and narrows the jawline. The results, can also have other positive effects, like making your cheeks appear more lifted and relieving pain and soreness that can result from teeth grinding.

5. Tighten jowls

If your jawline has become less defined, a little botulinum toxin along the muscles of the jawbone can pull the skin up for a crisp, defined effect.

6. Lift your lips

Fillers aren't the only way to create voluminous, youthful-looking lips. The plastic surgeon can also inject tiny drops of botulinum toxin along the upper lip border in order to roll the top lip up and out slightly so it appears plumper. It's subtler than collagen injections, and because the technique requires less botulinum toxin than other areas of the face, it's also less expensive.

7. Smooth out your neck

Horizontal wrinkles can be temporarily erased. Tiny amounts are injected into the muscles above and below the lines, all the way around the neck; when they relax, the skin looks smoother. Neck muscles can start to enlarge and protrude as we age, resulting in the appearance of thick, tight cords. And if that didn't already sound bad enough, the muscles in the neck and the superficial muscles of the face are connected to one another, so the neck can pull the rest of your facial features forward. Botulinum toxin, once again, is the answer. Relaxing the neck muscles leads to softened wrinkles, gets rid of the cords, and lifts the face.

Basically, it's a nonsurgical face-lift. All of that sounds too good to be true until you remember that botulinum toxin breaks down every three to four months, so repeat visits will be necessary.

8. Create a younger looking décolleté (chest area)

With age and sun exposure, lines can develop between the breasts for some women. To smooth them out, your plastic surgeon can treat the area with botulinum toxin.

9. Treat migraine

The theory is that it blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain and that it relaxes the muscles in the head so they're not as sensitive to pain. The botulinum toxin is injected into the forehead, temples, and scalp. But this as a last-resort migraine treatment. It's appropriate for patients who have frequent migraine attacks that aren't improving appropriately with traditional migraine medications. It's not without potential downsides, and you must consider the cosmetic result to avoid a fully frozen forehead and dropped brows.

10. Calm excessive sweating

You can use botulinum toxin to treat hyperhydrosis (medically diagnosed excessive sweating) by injecting the area, the underarms or palms. The results are significant. It can be a life-changing treatment for people with pathological sweating. It is recommend for people who have tried clinical-strength and prescription antiperspirants with no success and for those people who have significant embarrassment from sweating or need to change clothing during the day.

11. To treat a gummy smile

A gummy smile: when the lip rests high on the gums when you smile. These can be easily and effectively treated with botulinum toxin. The best part of this treatment is that it is not invasive and it is a quick procedure! 

Botulinum toxin will relax the muscles in the upper lip and limit the rise of the upper lip when smiling, so the gums will remain covered. Botulinum toxin is injected in the area between the nose and upper lip to reduce the appearance of any “gummy” smile, creating a more appealing and natural smile.

The treatment is incredibly effective, and the results usually last 3 months; when you repeat this procedure, over time, generally you get more time between when treatment is required. One may return to work immediately after treatment, and results are often immediate with the full effect occurring by two weeks.

12. Make blowouts last

Yes, really. Some women who get botulinum toxin in their forehead have reported that they don't sweat around their hairline and their blowouts last longer. Some people have taken the no-sweat thing a step further and begun getting botulinum toxin injections expressly for the purpose of keeping their blowouts fresher for longer by injecting botulinum toxin in the scalp and at the hairline.


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