The Most Surprising Uses for Botox

woman with clear, wrinkle free skin and bold eyebrows


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.

As a muscle relaxant, Botox can be useful in tiny amounts in 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 injectable to treat everything from teeth grinding and headaches to acne and depression. Have we piqued your curiosity yet?

Keep scrolling to see some of the most surprising uses for Botox.

Try It as a Permanent Antiperspirant

Excessive sweaters, take note: Just a few pricks of Botox under each armpit can put an end to pit-stain paranoia. The injections assist in paralyzing the overactive sweat glands that are responsible for hyperhidrosis. According to a 2014 study, a group of medical professionals found that Botox provided longer-lasting results than other topical treatments offered for hyperhidrosis.

According to a 2012 study, the injections last for about six to nine months—and doctors have found that there is a high level of patient satisfaction after treatment. Chrissy Teigen has even given this method a try, stating that it was "truly the best move [she has] ever made."

Balance 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.

Reduce 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.

Ease Depression

Believe it or not, promising 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 these non-invasive Botox alternatives that doctors don’t want you to know about.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. De Almeida AR, Montagner S. Botulinum toxin for axillary hyperhidrosis. Dermatol Clin. 2014;32(4):495-504. doi:10.1016/j.det.2014.06.013

  2. Doft MA, Hardy KL, Ascherman JA. Treatment of hyperhidrosis with botulinum toxinAesthet Surg J. 2012;32(2):238-244. doi:10.1177/1090820X11434506

  3. Dym H, Pierre R. Diagnosis and treatment approaches to a "gummy smile". Dent Clin North Am. 2020;64(2):341-349. doi:10.1016/j.cden.2019.12.003

  4. Patel J, Cardoso JA, Mehta S. A systematic review of botulinum toxin in the management of patients with temporomandibular disorders and bruxism. Br Dent J. 2019;226(9):667-672. doi:10.1038/s41415-019-0257-z

  5. Herd CP, Tomlinson CL, Rick C, et al. Botulinum toxins for the prevention of migraine in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;6:CD011616. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011616.pub2

  6. Finzi E, Rosenthal NE. Treatment of depression with onabotulinumtoxinA: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trialJ Psychiatr Res. 2014;52:1‐6. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.11.006

  7. Gilbert E, Ward NL. Efficacy of botulinum neurotoxin type A for treating recalcitrant plaque psoriasisJ Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(11):1407‐1408.

Related Stories