5 Surprising Uses for Botox

K. Mathews on 5 Mar 2012 at 12:00pm

It's no secret that Botox helps to remove facial wrinkles and stop excess sweating, but not everyone knows else that the multipurpose toxin can actually do much more. Here are five other uses for Botox you might not be familiar with:

1. Eliminating Neck Lines

Botox neck folds

“Botox can flatten the neck folds that hang down if they’re not too big,” says Manhattan dermatologist Dr. Ronald Shelton. “This makes a more sharp angle at the neck on profile which looks younger.” Just be sure to employ a professional who is experienced at injecting Botox into this specific area, because missing the mark could lead to difficulty swallowing.

2. Contouring the Jawline

Botox jaw reduction

A touch of Botox could actually help change the appearance of your jawline. Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Steinsapir explains: “Botox is injected into the masseter muscle, which is used to close the mouth and chew… A bulky masseter muscle makes the lower face look full and heavy [but] just a small amount of Botox in this muscle on both sides will cause loss of mass in this muscle and help improve the shape of the lower face.” Other doctors warn that Botox’s effects in this region are subtle, so patients looking for a dramatic change should consider a different procedure.

3. Mood Improvement

Botox for depression

There are rumors that Botox is a potential cure for depression, but most RealSelf doctors aren’t willing to go that far. “There is some evidence that Botox injections may improve mood and feelings of stress,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter. As for alleviating depression, the jury is still out.

While one small study has found that Botox improved the mental health of moderate depression sufferers, it’s still just one small study that needs plenty of replication on a larger scale.  According to dermatologic surgeon Dr. Doris Day, “It is not recommended or FDA approved to treat depression with Botox and even if the injections helped, they would most likely need to be used along with other medications and treatments to effectively control this medical condition.”

4. Improving Bladder Troubles

bladder botox

Not all Botox is applied above the neck; in fact, some is applied below the waist. “Painful involuntary spasms of the bladder can be helped with Botox injections,” writes Dr. Steven Weiner. “This is a form of incontinence and is easily treated with bladder injections with Botox.” Who would have guessed that a single toxin could fix both your wrinkles and your tinkles?

5. Easing Anal Sphincter Spasms

botox anal spasms

If you thought bladder problems were graphic, you probably didn’t expect to see the phrase “anal sphincters”, which plastic surgeon Dr. Lisa Sowder hilariously notes is “underappreciated until it doesn’t work properly.” And when it doesn’t work properly? Dr. Sowder explains, “Botox is sometimes used in the anal sphincter for spasm of that muscle or sometimes for anal tears. I know, TMI.” Yeah, probably too much information… unless you should need it.

Photo credits: #1) William J. Binder, MD  #2) Samual Lam, MD  #3) ayleene on stock.xchng

Comments (8)

Wish more doctors did the masseter injection. You do need around 50 units so it's not cheap and it's not permanent but it does help with teeth grinding.
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1. Eliminating Neck Lines - FAKE image
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I dont think it is fake.... I think she is straining her neck in one picture and in the other one she is unable to strain her neck.
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For the neck muscle bands, only the front edge of the plastyma muscle bands are injected with botox. This can weaken the muscle so that the muscle bands don't protrude as much when the person clenches their jaw.

In the before and after photo shown as an example, the after photo doesn't show the person clenching their jaw. How do I know? If botox is used, it would only be fore the middle two muscle bands, and the outer muscle bands would not be affected. Therefore, in the after photo, the same person is essentially relaxing the neck.

The Pro to the Botox injection is that it is non-surgical, the Con is that the muscle band is very strong and would likely need repeat injections of Botox every 3-4 months to maintain an effect. What ever the cost ends up being, multiply that cost by 3 or 4 times and that will be your annual cost to maintain it.

For neck muscle bands that hang down enough that you can actually pinch them with your finger, the improvement using Botox may not be enough. Why? The skin in the neck area has lost fat and the skin has already wrapped around the hanging edge of the muscle band. Paralyzing the muscle band may not have much effect on the profile for these patients.

Botox for the Masseter muscles is quite effective for people with very "bulky" muscles at the corner of the jaw. This is not the same as for hanging or sagging jowls. People who have bulky masseter muscles tend to grind their teeth, and chew hard things, like to chew gum. By constanting exercising that muscle, the muscle bulks up, similarly to a person who uses barbells to bulk up their biceps. The Botox simply weakens/partially paralyzes some of the bulk of the muscle to thin it out. If a person's biceps were too big, injecting botox into the biceps would similarly shrink the muscle. This type of botox won't help a sagging jawline, but may help to soften and round out a person who may have a square jawline like Brad Pitt. More women than men seek this treatment, because a square jawline looks more masculine, and a rounded jawline looks more feminine. Men tend to want a squarer jawline (like Brad Pitt) as well as a stronger chin.

I hope that makes some sense.


Dr. Yang
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I am gonna try to Jaw line one next month =)
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Wow, that's incredible. Nice by-product. I posted this on my FB too and somebody posted that they had it in their hips to reduce muscle pain. Oh the wonders of Botox!

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I had botox in the jawline and it does work! Was more wanting to stop grinding my teeth and stop tension headaches but my jaw is definately slimmer.
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I did not know about the jawline, but makes sense (and looks good).

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