Among the many misconceptions surrounding Botox—that it inevitably leads to a frozen-looking face, for starters—is the idea that it’s only good for fending off wrinkles. In reality, age prevention is just one of countless uses for the injectable. What’s more, a lot of them have nothing to do with appearance.
As positive research continues to pour in, doctors are now offering Botox to treat everything from teeth grinding to acne to depression. Because the toxin is a muscle relaxant, it can be used in tiny amounts to target different areas of the body, all to different effects. And it seems that experts (and the FDA) are only getting more and more excited about its potential.
Have we piqued your curiosity yet? Keep scrolling to see some of the most surprising uses for Botox.
Try It as a Permanent Anti-Perspirant
Nervous sweaters, take note: Just a few pricks of Botox under each armpit can put an end to pit-stain paranoia for up to two years.
Fix a Gummy Smile
If you tend to curl your upper lip under or raise it high above your teeth when you smile, there’s actually a quick (and relatively affordable) solution. According to board-certified plastic surgeon John Zannis, a tiny injection of Botox can help relax the lip for a more balanced grin. The treatment costs $200 to $300 and lasts several months. (The results are kind of amazing—check out this firsthand account from YouTube channel Mixed Makeup.)
Reduce and Prevent Acne
“To totally treat acne, you’d need to use doses of Botox so large they’d prevent you from constricting your facial muscles,” says Zannis. “But tiny amounts of Botox injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions.” This all being said, he recommends using Botox as a Hail Mary when all other blemish treatments fail.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth
The toxin can help relax the offending muscles in your jaw, says Zannis.
Keep Headaches at Bay
The FDA has actually approved Botox as a treatment for those who suffer from chronic migraines since research shows it can greatly reduce the typical amount of painful episodes.
Believe it or not, promising new research suggests that a Botox injection between the eyebrows may help alleviate depression. More than half the participants in a 2014 study reported improved symptoms after receiving the treatment.
Improve Chronic Skin Conditions
As an autoimmune disease, psoriasis has no cure. But since the flaky patches associated with the condition result from an overproduction of skin cells, strategically placed Botox can help renormalize this process.
On that note, check out eight non-invasive Botox alternatives that doctors don’t want you to know about.