Surprising Uses for B-tox (Spoiler: it’s not what you think…)

Botulinum toxin is well known for its wrinkle-busting effects, as it relaxes the muscles of the face. However, the use of botulinum toxin is not just limited to treating wrinkles. Botulinum toxin was actually discovered as a ‘happy accident’ by an ophthalmologist. At the time, patients were being treated for blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelid muscles), and the doctor subsequently found out that patients started to look a whole lot younger after the botulinum toxin treatments! And so, anti- wrinkle injections were born.

Which medical conditions can be elevated with use of Botulinum toxin?

There are a multitude of medical conditions that can be alleviated with the use of botulinum toxin – Dr Jemma reveals a few:


Bruxism or better known as chronic teeth grinding and clenching can lead to discomfort

Bruxism is a condition of chronic teeth grinding and clenching. This can lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction, headaches , hypertrophy of the masseter muscle (muscle at the angle of the jaw responsible for chewing), and teeth abnormalities. 

Botulinum toxin can be injected into the masseter muscle to relax it and prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth.  There is also the added benefit of slimming down the face as the muscle reduces in size, which gives one a desirable inverted triangle shape. This is especially useful in females with very square jawlines. 


Chronic migraines can have a significant impact on your daily living

Botulinum toxin can also be used to prevent migraines in chronic migraine sufferers. It is applied to certain (individualised) areas like the glabella, neck, base of the head, and the temple region to help prevent a migraine from occurring.

The use of botulinum toxin has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. 

Hyperhidrosis (persistent, excessive sweating):

Hyperdydrosis or abnormally excessive sweating can lead to discomfort and embarrassment.

Another life changing use for botulinum toxin is to treat a condition called hyperhidrosis.

Patients with this condition sweat (even on cooler days) so much so that it starts to negatively impact their lives. Areas that can be treated are the underarms, hands, feet and upper forehead. I have used botulinum toxin for this condition with great success. Treatments need to be performed about every 6 months. 

Other medical conditions where botulinum toxin can be used include an overactive bladder, bells palsy, vocal cord dysfunction (spasmodic dysphonia), and strabismus (crossed eyes).


Botulinum toxin can also improve acne, by reducing oil production in the treated area and reducing pore size. 

Wrinkles & Dimpled Chins:

These divots and lines tend to form as we age as a result of fat loss in and around the chin area

From a more aesthetic stand point, botulinum toxin does not only target wrinkles. When used in the lower face it has positive aesthetic outcomes. Applied to the chin it prevents dimpling, otherwise known as ‘chinulite’.

This softens the chin giving it a more youthful appearance. 

The ‘upside down smile’ & a ‘gummy smile’:

 Gummy smile is when you smile and too much gum tissue shows above the top teeth

It can also be used in a muscle called the depressor anguli oris. This muscle is responsible for pulling the corners of the mouth down (upside down smile). By relaxing this muscle the corners of the mouth can be coaxed to a more pleasant position. 

A ‘gummy smile’ (excessive gum show when smiling) can also be treated with botulinum toxin which relaxes the elevator muscles of the lip, reducing gum show when smiling. 

Asymmetrical eyebrows:

Since eyebrows are the first thing people notice, asymmetrical eyebrows can lead to frustration

Another useful indication for botulimum toxin is to treat low or asymmetrical eyebrows.  When used correctly, it can create a brow lift and correct asymmetries of the brow. 

Take home message

Botulimum toxin use extends beyond treating wrinkles, and can be used for medical conditions and other aesthetic indications. The effects of botulinum toxin will vary from person to person. 

Generally botulinum toxin wears off after three to four months. This is the case for medical as well as cosmetic purposes. Therefore, Botox is only a temporary solution to treat these various conditions. 

Discuss all options with your doctor or a specialist before deciding if botulinum toxin injections are the right treatment for you.

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