8 Surprising Uses For Botox: Migraines, Depression, and... a Breast Lift?

12 Jun 2014 at 3:00pm

8 Surprising Uses For BotoxBotox injections are most commonly associated with glamorous fashionistas looking to get rid of their wrinkles, but this simple procedure is going mainstream –– and can be a saving grace in more ways than one! Sure, Botox comes in handy when you wake up and realize that –– to your absolute horror –– you have frown lines (!), but the trendy protein/neurotoxin (officially known as botulinum toxin A) is actually a jack of all trades. In fact, you can go ahead and think of Botox as the "renaissance woman" of the cosmetic surgery world.

Turns out Botox is used for a myriad of unexpected health conditions. “Thirty years ago, Botox was an obscure medication used for ocular problems such as strabismus (cross eyes) and inadvertent blinking,” says facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Prendiville. “It has since crossed the threshold to the world of aesthetics with a global market predicted to be at $2.9 billion by 2018.”

We’re sure you’re dying to know which conditions Botox can target, so we've rounded 'em up for your education and enjoyment. That's right ladies (and gents, we see you too!), it's time to get to know your go-to cosmetic procedure just a little bit better...

Overactive Bladder
Having an overactive bladder is more common in women than men (sigh, typical), which means a life full of Depends could be in your future. Unless you use Botox, that is! Turns out incontinence can be controlled with Botox thanks to its ability to relax the bladder muscle. The best part is that you may only need a single injection per year! Yep, one and done, y'all.

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is uncomfortable, itchy, and not exactly easy on the eyes. Luckily, this flaky skin condition could be a thing of the past thanks to –– you guessed it –– our BFF Botox. Though psoriasis is technically incurable, Botox minimizes the activity of inflammatory cells that bring on outbreaks! #winning.

Painful Sex
Botox For Painful Sex
Time to turn up the heat and bring Botox into the bedroom! Unfortunately, many women suffer from painful intercourse, but Botox can help loosen things up by injecting the handy remedy into tense or irritated muscles. For those of you who are horrified by the thought of a needle in your lady parts, fear not –– the procedure is relatively painless and only necessary about once every three months. Definitely worth it for a romantic night in with your partner...

Depression
If you're one of the thousands of Americans who suffers from depression, Botox could be your ticket to happiness. Doctors have found that injections in the forehead may help patients with depression by interrupting feedback from the facial muscles to the brain, which is said to be involved in the development of negative emotions. (Side effects for the procedure include flawless wrinkle-free skin.)

Excessive Sweating
Summer is officially upon us, which means we're in for a solid three months of tanning! For those who suffer from excessive sweating, however, summer isn’t always the sunniest time of the year. Thankfully, Botox could be a saving grace for those attempting to manage this condition, which is officially known as axillary hyperhidrosis. Studies show that just a handful of injections can reduce underarm sweat for up to TWO years. Um, where do we sign up?

Migraines
Botox For Migraines
The FDA has officially approved Botox as a treatment for chronic migraines! A whopping 12% of Americans suffer from these acute headaches, but simple Botox treatments around the head and neck have been shown to alleviate pain for up to three months. Seriously, is there anything these miraculous injections can't do? Our minds = blown. (And pain-free!)

Weight Loss
Looking to shed a few pounds? Two words: Gastric Botox. This endoscopic procedure fast-tracks weight loss by using Botox to relax stomach muscles, which in turn helps to make a patient feel full more quickly (and for much longer)! Unlike a super-invasive gastric bypass surgery, Gastric Botox is an outpatient procedure that takes about 15 minutes. Don't mind if we do!

Breast Lift
Are your lovely lady lumps in need of a pick-me-up? Instead of going under the knife and getting permanent augmentation, some experts have suggested a quick and easy Botox lift. Those looking for a modest improvement are said to be able to temporarily plump their assets thanks to injections into the pectoralis minor chest muscle.

Take this recommendation with a major grain of salt, however. Not only have many doctors revealed that simply improving your posture could have the same effect, RealSelf Top Doc Dr. Grant Stevens warns that Botox may even do the opposite of what you want. “One can use Botox to inject the pectoralis muscle, but injecting the breast won’t change the breast at all because it's made of fat tissue, not muscle,” he explains. “If you did inject the pectoralis muscle, the pectoralis would go asleep [since the purpose of Botox is to relax the muscle]. That chest muscle would drop and the breasts would actually drop. So you have just the opposite effect by injecting the pectoralis.” 

Have you ever used Botox for one of these surprising reasons? Share your story in the comments below!

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Photo credits: Style Network; SheKnows; Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr