Botox is a product injected into the skin which can be used to smooth and lessen the appearance of facial wrinkles. This neuromuscular blocker causes the muscles to have limited contractions which provide the muscle some time to relax while permitting the skin to smooth out. Although most people associate the word “Botox” with wrinkle reduction, did you know that Botox can be used to treat other problematic conditions? Let’s examine some interesting and surprising facts about Botox.
In the 1820’s, Dr. Justinus Kerner accidently poisoned several dozen Germans with a batch of blood sausages. In his efforts to determine why his meal turned out to be a killer, Kerner discovered that there was a toxin in the meat. Kerner named this discovery “botulism” from the Latin root botulus which means sausage. Botox has since become the brand name of this particular strain of neurotoxin which is actually called the botulinum toxin.
Did you know that Botox almost made its way to World War II? At the beginning of the war, the United States began researching biological weapons. Can you guess what came up? You got it… botulinum toxin! According to an article in the “International Journal of Dermatology,” this neurotoxin was supposed to be on the front line. The plan was to create tiny gel capsules of the toxin and have Chinese prostitutes slip them into the food and drinks of high-ranking Japanese officers. Although the capsules were produced, the plan was never carried out.
Profuse sweating can be embarrassing and expensive. This is especially true when it comes to changing your shirt several times a day and the fact that these sweat stains will eventually destroy your shirts. Many people who have excess sweating believe they must simply deal with it. However, a simple Botox shot in the sweat gland located in the armpit area will provide temporary relief. The Botox will block the chemical signals from the nerves which stimulate the sweat glands. These results can last for 7 to 8 months.
The “Journal of Psychiatric Research” published a study which claimed that Botox could help treat depression. The study suggested that a person’s emotions are attached to their facial muscles and expressions. Therefore, using Botox to relax the facial muscles could disrupt the connection. According to researcher M. Axel Wollmer, Botox “interrupts feedback from the facial musculature to the brain, which may be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions.”
Other than beauty treatments, Botox has additional fantastic qualities. Botox can be injected into the muscle to help alleviate chronic pain. Botox works by blocking the signals which are causing the unnecessary tightening of the muscles which eliminates the pain. In 2012, a study was done which proved that Botox can significantly improve pain levels from patients experiencing a chronic pain in the neck.
In 2013, the FDA approved the treatment of Botox injections for patients who are experiencing migraines. No one really knows why Botox eases migraine symptoms but it is approved by the FDA. The most popular theory is that Botox prevents the pain signals from reaching the nerve endings.