Botox - Can It Really Treat Up To 12 Medical Conditions?

The Daily Mail has published an extensive article this weekend on the many medical conditions and ailments Botox is now used to treat - with the help of Woodford Medical's own Dr Mervyn Patterson.

A lady receiving Botox
A lady receiving Botox

Botox is 25 this year – that’s how many years since it was first approved for medical use.

And although it’s best known as an anti-wrinkle jab, last year just over half of its sales were for non-cosmetic uses.

Its first use was as a treatment for eye spasms – the active ingredient, botulinum toxin, works by blocking the nerve signals that tell muscles to contract, temporarily paralysing them.

Today, it’s widely used in children suffering from the limb stiffness of cerebral palsy, and this year it gained approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for treating ankle-movement problems after a stroke.

Botox has been officially approved for 12 conditions, and it – or other botulinum toxins – are being investigated for more than 20 medical uses.

Just this month, it was revealed that Botox may combat stomach cancer and trials are under way.

‘It really is a phenomenal drug,’ says Dr Mervyn Patterson, a cosmetic doctor who has been using Botox for more than 15 years.

So, from top to toe, here are just a few of the more everyday ailments Botox can treat.

Sweating

Hyperhidrosis, or extreme sweating, often can’t be controlled by antiperspirants. But multiple, superficial injections of Botox have been shown in studies to reduce perspiration by more than 50 per cent in eight in ten patients. In half of patients, the effects last more than seven months.

A lady
A lady

How does it work?

Botox for Hyperhidrosis temporarily blocks the secretion of the chemical responsible for switching on sweat glands. About 12 to 20 jabs are given in affected areas, such as the armpits, hands, feet or face.

Scarring

After a wound from surgery such as a caesarean or an injury, some skin types develop thick, rope-like, keloid scarring. Dr Patterson says:

‘Those prone to keloid scarring generally know about it. Evidence has been around for some time that if Botox is injected in and around a scar as it is healing, the appearance is reduced.’

How does it work?

‘Reducing tensile force across a wound means less tension at the suture line, which translates into less scar tissue,’ explains Dr Patterson.

‘Tests on cells extracted from keloid wounds treated with Botox show less production of growth factors which stimulate scarring.’

Teeth Grinding

ContactAlso known as bruxism – stress is thought to lead to involuntary clenching of the jaw muscles, typically in sleep. It can permanently damage teeth as well as causing headaches and jaw pain.

Botox for Bruxism reduces grinding better than a placebo.

How does it work?

Dr Patterson says: ‘Botox is placed in the masseter, the main chewing muscle. Relief is within days and works in the majority of people. Another injection is usually required three months later but the effect after this is often prolonged.’

To book your Botox consultation with a Woodford Medical practitioner now please contact us.

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