Among the many misconceptions surrounding Botox is the idea that it’s only useful 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.
Botox—a muscle relaxant—can also be useful in tiny amounts to target various areas of the body, all to different effects. It seems that experts (and the FDA) are becoming increasingly excited about its potential. As positive research continues to pour in, doctors are now offering the toxin to treat everything from teeth grinding, to acne, to depression.
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
Excessive 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. The injections assist in paralyzing the overactive sweat glands that are responsible for hyperhidrosis. Chrissy Teigen has even given this treatment a try, stating that it was "truly the best move [she has] ever made."
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 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-$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.” However, he recommends using Botox as a Hail Mary when all other blemish treatments fail.
Diminish Teeth Grinding
Botox can help relax the offending muscles in your jaw, says Zannis. The process seems to be quick and effective, with minimal pain. The injection will relax the masseter muscle, which tends to tense up and cause jaw tension, lockjaw, and teeth grinding.
Keep Headaches at Bay
The FDA has approved Botox as a treatment option for those who suffer from chronic migraines. The research shows it can significantly reduce the frequency 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 of 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. However, since the flaky patches associated with the condition result from an overproduction of skin cells, strategically placed Botox can help to normalize this process.
On that note, check out eight non-invasive Botox alternatives that doctors don’t want you to know about.