Six uses for Botox - other than frownlines
Botox is polarising – people love it or hate it. With its hashtag on Instagram boasting close to 1.3 million posts, it's very much a hot issue.
But there is no denying the changes it can make for some people's lives and we're not just talking about knocking back the clock a few years.
We asked Dr Catherine Stone of The Face Place about some of the other uses of Botox that are possible today - here's her take.
BRUXISM/TEETH GRINDING/FACIAL SLIMMING
If you grind or clench your teeth, or have big jaw muscles (called your masseter muscles) at the sides of your jaw, Botox can be used effectively to slim the jawline, reduce jaw pain and reduce the damage to your teeth from clenching or grinding.
A quick and simple Botox treatment directly into the masseter muscles helps to soften these muscles. Pain reduction is usually noticeable within two weeks, while facial slimming takes about six weeks for full effect. (This must be performed by an experienced clinician, as incorrect placement of the Botox can affect your smile.) Results last about three to six months, with costs varying from $200 to $1200.
FACIAL SYMMETRY/BELL'S PALSY
Bell's Palsy (damage to the facial nerve resulting in paralysis of one side of the face) and other facial asymmetries can be treated by a highly experienced clinician with an excellent understanding of the interaction of the muscles in the face.
It takes a lot more skill and artistry than standard Botox. The aim is to bring the face into the "normal" realm of asymmetry (we are all asymmetrical!) so that people are not as self-conscious about people looking at them.
This is an incredibly rewarding area to help people in. Dosage could be anything from just a few units to 60 units depending on the person and their needs. Price indication is $100 to $1200+.
Botox is an excellent treatment for localised excessive sweating - the armpits are the most common area, but we also treat hands, feet, facial sweating, head and buttocks. We also treat a condition called gustatory sweating, which can happen when nerves rewire incorrectly after a dental procedure, resulting in a patch of sweating on the face or neck every time you eat.
A single Botox treatment reduces sweating by an average of 70-80 per cent, bringing someone with a problem back to normal. This can be a life-changing procedure with almost a 100 per cent success rate, and results last on average about six to 12 months. A standard treatment for armpits is 100 units, which costs $1500 - $1600.
Botox is an incredibly effective treatment for tension headaches and migraines - research shows about half of patients with severe migraines will get complete resolution of their symptoms, while another 30 to 40 per cent will get some form of improvement (fewer headaches, less severe headaches, less medication required to control the headaches).
This application was discovered as a side effect of treating cosmetically in the frown and forehead area, so often a good cosmetic result comes as a side effect.
You need a specialised clinician for this treatment, which costs from $150 to $1000.
RSI (REPETITIVE STRESS INJURY):
Stone has treated a small number of people with painful RSI in the hand, arm and neck/shoulder region - so far with 100 per cent success.
It seems to work by releasing the painful "trigger points" of muscle tension.
The results seem to be sustained for years in the small number of cases (less than 10) she has treated. Dose depends on the person, but usually the price would come in around $200 to $500.
BROW LIFTING AND MOUTH CORNER LIFTING:
As we age, the muscles in our face that pull the mouth corners and brows down tend to tighten, while the muscles holding them up tend to get slightly stretched.
An experienced and artful injector can place a small amount of Botox into selected parts of the muscle to gently open the eyes and/or lift the mouth corners, helping you look happier, fresher and less tired.
Mouth corners would cost from $100 to $300; brows around $100 to $490.