7 Surprising Conditions You Can Treat With Botox

It’s no surprise Botox has a storied past. From its early days of testing the market to the booming cosmetic industry staple it is today, Botox has been proving naysayers wrong since its FDA approval in 2002. You know it’s popular, but just how Botox-obsessed have people become? In a Reader’s Digest Canada article, Katherine Ashenburg writes, “Botox has become a billion-dollar industry, North America’s No. 1 cosmetic procedure and the inspiration behind a crowded new generation of fillers, intense-pulsed-light and radio-frequency therapies, and other age-fighting products.” Interestingly, it is good for more than just treating frown lines and crow’s feet. Botox has a myriad of uses, some of which may surprise you.

1. Depression

sad woman grasping her head

Botox can help depression? Maybe. | iStock.com

Saying that Botox can help improve the negative effects of a mental illness is a big claim, but some research has shown it may help to relieve signs of depression. In a small study, patients who received a single treatment in the region between their eyebrows experienced a strong and sustained alleviation of depression. The study participants had not improved on previous medication they had tried, and the findings suggest that a person’s facial musculature not only expresses, but also regulates, mood states.

While Botox most likely provides a somewhat instant gratification factor, in terms of aesthetic improvements, the research supports the idea that mood may be not-so-indirectly related. When a person is sad, depressed, or in a bad mood, you can typically see it on their face. In theory, if a person’s facial expression is “improved,” at least in their mind, perhaps they’ll also start projecting a more positive outlook or attitude.

2. Chronic migraines

man sitting holding head in hands

Dealing with a headache is no walk in the park. | iStock.com

People who suffer from chronic migraines, meaning they experience them more days a month than not, will try just about anything to relieve the pain. And one way to combat the frustrations of migraines is with Botox. When medication, turning off the lights, and lying down simply won’t do the trick, it may be time to discuss other treatment options with your doctor. He may recommend Botox as a possible treatment plan for your unending headache agony.

3. Excessive sweating

Sport man wearing T-shirt and sweating

Getting rid of sweat stained pits is an attractive offer. | iStock.com

Sweating during a workout is normal. Sweating profusely throughout the day, however, is often described as a rather unpleasant condition. According to WebMD, axillary hyperhidrosis affects more than one million people in the U.S., causing a person to sweat up to four times more than normal.

While no one hopes to be a sweaty mess during day-to-day activities, people who constantly deal with excessive perspiration can struggle with self-confidence and feelings of embarrassment. Noticeable sweating can occur at any time — public speaking, work presentations, and casual social settings — and underarm Botox injections (which last for two years) are an option for people seeking treatment options.

4. Eye dystonia

man rubbing his eyes while he works on a laptop

Would you get Botox injections to help your eye dystonia? | iStock.com

Also known as blepharospasm, eye dystonia is an uncontrolled blinking or spasm of the eye. Additional symptoms of the condition include fatigue, emotional tension, or sensitivity to bright light. And while it’s likely symptoms will continue as the condition progresses, they may also subside when a person is sleeping or concentrating on a specific task.

While there is no known cure, there are treatments to help reduce these involuntary behaviors of the eyes, including Botox. When injected into the muscles of the eyelids, the muscles are paralyzed, prohibiting those irritating, spastic movements.

5. Cervical dystonia

man holding neck in pain

Neck pain can put a big damper on everyday life. | iStock.com

Cervical dystonia is a neurological condition characterized by neck muscles contracting involuntarily, resulting in abnormal movements and awkward posture of the head and neck. People who suffer from cervical dystonia may experience severe pain due to spasms in the muscles or pinched nerves in the neck. Not to be confused with stiff neck or arthritis, cervical dystonia’s most effective treatment is regular Botox injections to the affected muscles.

6. Bladder incontinence

Image of young woman sitting on toilet.

Bladder incontinence is a frustrating struggle. | iStock.com/vadimguzhva

It’s easy to take the ability to control your bladder for granted, but for people who deal with bladder incontinence, day-to-day activities can be a real pain, and one that requires a solution at that. According to Mayo Clinic, Botox can help those with an overactive bladder. Seeing as it paralyzes the muscles it hits, Botox does the same of the bladder muscle. For people who haven’t had luck with other medications, the benefits of Botox can last several months, successfully easing a frustratingly overactive bladder.

7. Crossed eyes

face close-up of young woman

Botox can correct crossed eyes. | iStock.com/Jean-Philippe Wallet

Known as strabismus, crossed eyes are difficult to hide, and can be a major aesthetic inconvenience for those plagued by them. Luckily, Botox has been treating the condition since the 1970s. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Botox is a safe and effective treatment option. When performed properly and in willing patients (including only adults and cooperative teenagers), the injections, which are put directly into the eye muscle, can effectively change the position of the eye. Of course, this procedure must be done only by a skilled and qualified doctor, as eye movement, incorrect injection site, or length of injection can have grave consequences.