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