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November 23, 2020

Botox® in medicine: areas of application for botulinum toxin

Botox® treatment in Berlin

Injections of Botox® (botulinum toxin) for the treatment of unpleasant wrinkles are familiar to many people. In aesthetic medicine, the active ingredient has rapidly gained recognition and popularity. In addition to cosmetic applications, botulinum toxin is also used in other medical fields. How can the powerful neurotoxin be turned into a safe treatment method? Which diseases, dysfunctions and “problems” can be treated with botulinum toxin? We have compiled an overview of the many possible uses of Botox®.

(Image: © LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS – stock.adobe.com)

How does botulinum toxin affect the body?

To activate muscles, the nerve cells release certain messenger substances (acetylcholine). The transmitter substance acetylcholine thus enables communication between nerve and muscle. It causes the muscle to contract. After botulinum toxin has been injected or absorbed, the active ingredient ensures that the messenger substance is no longer released. As a result, the movement information does not reach the corresponding muscles. The paralysis of the muscles lasts as long as the active substance is in the body.

The body is able to gradually break down the botulinum toxin. However, if too much of the active ingredient is present in the body, the paralysis can lead to serious health consequences. This is the case, for example, with botulism (“sausage poisoning”). Poisoning occurs in connection with the consumption of spoiled meat or improperly cooked vegetables. Nowadays, however, cases of botulism are very rare.

Botox® is a neurotoxin – isn’t treatment with it dangerous?

In the medical application of botulinum toxin, extremely diluted preparations of the neurotoxin are used in very low doses. An experienced and specially trained doctor knows the appropriate injection points to achieve the desired improvement. This makes treatment with Botox® a reliable and safe procedure in professional hands. Complication risks such as functional limitations or undesirable, severe paralysis are more likely to be due to a lack of knowledge and experience. Patients should ensure that they only consult a qualified expert in Botox® therapies.

Botox® has been used in the medical field for more than 30 years without any “toxic effect” being caused by the active ingredient.

Botox® reduces mimic wrinkles

One of the major areas of application for Botox® is anti-ageing treatments. The active ingredient can be used to reduce mimic wrinkles that appear and deepen as a result of recurring muscle movements. As the muscles can no longer contract due to the botulinum toxin, the skin is smoother and appears younger and more even. Experience has shown that the wrinkle-smoothing effect of Botox® lasts for three to six months. Once the body has broken down the small amounts of botulinum toxin, muscle movement can return to normal. The corresponding mimic wrinkles can then also be reactivated. Regular refreshing of the treatment is therefore necessary for long-lasting results.

Botox® helps against heavy sweating

Heavy sweating is also known as hyperhidrosis called hyperhidrosis. In hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands are overactive. The cause of the disease has not yet been clearly established. The outbreaks of sweating usually occur in episodes that are generally unpredictable. They also occur regardless of physical exertion or high temperatures. Treatment with Botox® minimizes the transmission of stimuli to the sweat glands so that no or at least less sweat is released in the area. The same principle can also be applied if the patient suffers from severe salivation.

Botox® for severe headaches

Chronic migraines and cluster headaches have a huge impact on patients’ quality of life. During Botox® treatment, the doctor injects the active ingredient at around 30 points in the head, neck and shoulder area. There, the botulinum toxin causes muscle relaxation, which reduces the headache.

Botox® for the treatment of neurological movement disorders

One of the first areas of application for Botox® was the treatment of neurological movement disorders. Inhibiting muscle activity can reduce uncontrolled tension (e.g. eyelid spasm) or tremors. In addition to reducing muscle tension, the treatment also focuses on reducing pain and correcting muscle misalignments. Ultimately, the aesthetics can also be positively influenced in this way.

Botox® against teeth grinding

In the case of teeth grinding (bruxism), those affected clench their teeth involuntarily and often unconsciously and rub the surfaces of their teeth together. One form of bruxism is sleep bruxism. As the name suggests, patients unconsciously rub their teeth together in their sleep. In waking bruxism, however, teeth grinding takes place during the day. But again, this is not a “bad habit”, but an unintentional gnashing of teeth. It is mainly triggered by the large chewing muscle.

This muscle can be specifically relaxed with the help of botulinum toxin. The muscle is not completely paralyzed, but only its activity is weakened. All important functions can therefore be carried out normally, while the involuntary grinding is reduced.

Botox® for bladder weakness

Botox® treatment can also be considered for bladder weakness or an overactive bladder. The therapy weakens the bladder muscles. As a result, it relaxes and the bladder is able to absorb and hold more urine over a longer period of time. This also reduces the urge to urinate.

More information about Botox® treatment in Berlin

In our practice in Berlin, we use Botox® treatment primarily to reduce unpleasant wrinkles. We also use Botox® therapies to reduce hyperhidrosis if other non-invasive methods do not achieve the desired results. We will be happy to provide you with more detailed information on the respective options. Further information on botulinum toxin can also be found on the page of the professional association DGBT of which Dr. Kors is also a member.

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