From better health to preventive treatment: the surprising benefits of Botox

Some people call Botox the modern-day aspirin, because it is so well known and popular with a large percentage of the population. Dr. Downie, a Botox patient as well as an experienced injector, considers it as necessary as breathing for anyone who wants to look youthful. She is known as one of the foremost Botox injectors across the country, and many new patients come to image Dermatology ® P.C. with a variety of questions. Although the product is quite familiar, its history and variety of uses are lesser known. With many surprising health benefits and a tradition of safety, Botox has earned its place as a staple of aesthetic skin care.

Surprising Health Benefits of Botox in Montclair NJ area

A brief history of Botox

Within the past couple of decades, Botox has become a household name. You might be surprised to learn that the benefits of botulinum toxin were discovered in the 1920s, and the formula was refined by the 1940s. Why didn’t we hear of Botox sooner? It was a prescription medication used to treat a few types of muscular disorders.  Although it was a medical breakthrough, the product wasn’t of interest or use to the general population. That began to change a few decades later.

In 1987, an ophthalmologist named Dr. Jean Carruthers (Dr. Downie’s friend) used a botulinum toxin formula to treat a patient’s spasms in the eye area. Much to her surprise, the patient requested treatment in her forehead as well, even though it wasn’t spasming at the time. When asked why, the patient insisted that previous forehead injections not only stopped muscle spasms, but also made her wrinkles disappear.

Dr. Carruthers, along with her husband who is a dermatologist, began investigating the woman’s claims. This unexpected, though very welcome, “side effect” was replicated in small studies, and later in larger clinical trials. By the early 1990s, Botox Cosmetic was born, changing the face of aging forever. Since that time, Botox Cosmetic has been used to treat well over ten million women and men around the world, with an excellent record of safety and efficacy.

Botox vs Botox Cosmetic

While we usually refer to wrinkle relaxing injections simply as “Botox,” that is actually the name of the medical formula. Botox Cosmetic is technically a separate product. Many patients ask what the difference is, and if the cosmetic version is inferior in any way. Essentially, the only difference is on the business side of things. The formulas are chemically identical but have different labeling and FDA approvals. This separation simplifies insurance billing, clinical trials, and similar matters. However, you can rest assured that the active ingredient, and quality in the cosmetic formula are equal to those in standard (medical) Botox.

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How Botox is used medically

Ophthalmologists are not the only doctors who use Botox for non-cosmetic treatments. In truth, it has a wide variety of medicinal uses, and the list continues to grow. Conditions it can treat include:

  • Strabismus – Misalignment of eye muscles, often referred to as crossed eyes
  • Blepharospasm – Spasms of the eyelid muscles, resulting in frequent and uncontrollable blinking
  • Overactive bladder – Frequent, strong urge to urinate, often accompanied by leakage of the bladder
  • Chronic migraines – Defined as fifteen or more headaches each month, with at least eight of those being migraines
  • Primary axillary hyperhidrosis – Excess sweating under the arms
  • Focal spasticity – A disorder characterized by muscle stiffness, rigidity, spasms, and involuntary twitches
  • Cervical dystonia – Abnormal position of the neck, causing stiffness and pain
  • Depression – Botox is currently being studied for treatment of depression
  • TMJ – For jaw clenching or to treat a bulky jaw

How Botox is used cosmetically

There are a few surprises in this category as well. You probably know that Botox is the go-to solution for erasing crow’s feet. However, you might not be aware that it can stop those lines before they even form.

Originally, most Botox patients were in their forties or older, with well-defined crow’s feet, frown lines, and more. In these patients, Botox can soften the wrinkles, and sometimes remove them. The degree of improvement depends on how deeply creased the skin is when the face is relaxed. Because most patients are delighted with the results, they tend to keep using Botox, year after year. Dermatologists quickly noticed that those longtime patients were not developing new lines in the treatment areas. Today, many men and women begin Botox in their twenties or early thirties, as a highly effective preventive treatment.

It is never too late (and probably not too soon) to wipe away wrinkles and fine lines. Just call image Dermatology ® P.C. at  (973) 509-6900 and schedule an appointment.

Dr. Jeanine Downie is an experienced and popular dermatologist in Montclair. She possesses extensive experience and training in all aspects of dermatology, including cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. Dr. Downie provides modern and cutting-edge dermatology treatments to everyone in your family in a professional, competent and compassionate manner while ensuring that your individual and unique needs are met. Having received rigorous academic training, she completed her residency in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and also served as Chief Resident. She continues to upgrade her skills set and share her knowledge through professional affiliations and lecturing assignments on behalf of several renowned medical societies such as The Skin Cancer Foundation and The American Academy of Dermatology, among others. She also frequently interacts with the public through popular television shows such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, and The Dr. Oz Show, to name a few.

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