Botulinum Toxin: 5 Surprising ways doctors are using it in aesthetics
31 Mar 2020
At this point, we all know botulinum toxin is liquid magic when it comes to reducing the look of dynamic wrinkles. (If you didn’t know, you get two types of wrinkles – dynamic and static. The dynamic ones are caused by repeated movements. A good example would be a frown line. Static wrinkles are caused by a loss of elasticity and volume paired with gravity.)
While millions of people have trusted botulinum toxin for decades to help smooth out their face, many don’t realise it’s a brilliant multi-tasker. Thus, we’ve gathered just a few of the fascinating ways everyone’s favourite wrinkle-buster can help improve your looks as well as your health.
Scar reduction with Botulinum Toxin
If you broke your arm, you’d put it in a sling, right? The less you move it, the better it’s able to heal and the same goes for scars. This is why doctors are now injecting botulinum toxin close to the site of a wound to prevent the muscles from pulling on it. In fact, in America, it’s now common for doctors to inject botulinum toxin into the mouth area of babies after performing surgery to correct a cleft palate.
Cold hands and feet
You’ve probably heard that botulinum toxin can help those with excessively sweaty palms. However, it can help very cold ones too by relaxing the muscles that surround and constrict blood vessels. Also, a small study in London saw doctors improve the lives of those with cold toes too. Raynaud’s disease is a condition that affects the blood vessels and causes extremely cold fingers and toes. When the study’s doctors injected a small amount of botulinum toxin into their subject’s feet, their temperature increased for up to five months.
A non-surgical neck-lift
Yep, it’s possible to perform a non-surgical neck lift using botulinum toxin. Known as a “Nefertiti neck lift”, this no-downtime procedure can create a younger-looking neck and jawline. To be a candidate, you’d have to have an overactive platysma muscle. This is the muscle that runs down the length of your neck. If so, it can pull the face and neck downwards. In many cases, this can be resolved with several botulinum toxin injections. When administered along the lower jawline and down the sides of the neck it can relax the platysma. The result is a lovely-looking lift.
It’s currently an off-label use, but one of the biggest botulism toxin companies, Allergan, is testing the drug’s use for premature ejaculation. As it turns out, injecting botulinum toxin into the penis may relax its muscles and delay ejaculation. Allergan is also testing the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The theory is that paralyzing the nerves that cause the muscles to contract may increase blood flow to the penis.
Aesthetic doctors have long been using dermal filler and threads to perform non-surgical nose jobs. However, botulinum toxin has proved to be useful too. As we age, our nasal tip can droop or begin to take on a hooked-appearance. Fortunately, this can be fixed by injecting botulinum toxin into the base of the nose just in between the nostrils. This relaxes the muscle that pulls the nose downwards. The end result? A lifted, more youthful-looking nose that can take several years off a face without having to go anywhere near a knife!