Wrinkles, Migraine Headaches and Botox
Botox® is a neurotoxin, but it is one with positive effects. Botox® is produced from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and is widely used by dermatologists to treat wrinkles. There are literally hundreds of natural and man-made neurotoxins, which are substances that alter the nervous system’s function. Some of these complex proteins, including pesticides, lead, aluminum and certain insect venoms, can lead to illness if not treated.
Botox® works by temporarily relaxing or blocking the innervation (contraction) of the muscles around the eyes, forehead and other areas of the face. The effect of this is to smooth and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Botox® is also approved by the FDA for treating migraine headaches and other health disorders.
Botox® is now used to restore movement for stroke victims and to treat cervical dystonia, chronic migraines and urinary tract conditions. The latter include overactive bladder, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), urinary retention and interstitial cystitis, better known as painful bladder syndrome. Cervical dystonia is a painful and chronic neurological movement disorder that causes an involuntarily turning to the left or right, or up or down of the neck. The use of Botox® has been shown to reduce these painful movements.
Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by moderate to extremely severe headaches that last between 2 to 72 hours. Migraines are often associated with other nervous system symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, as well as extreme sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Some migraine sufferers actually experience an aura, which is a transient visual, sensory or language disturbance that precedes the headache.
It is estimated that two percent of the population suffers from chronic migraine headaches. The range of risk factors includes being female, young, having a family history of migraines, a history of head or neck injuries, and a low education level or low socioeconomic status. It is well recognized that stressful life events such as divorce or loss of job, having a psychiatric disorder or other pain disorders are also risk factors for migraines. Some risk factors, such as the overuse of headache medication, having a high caffeine intake, being obese or having a sleep disorder including snoring, are considered modifiable. A patient who suffers from a headache 15 or more days per month for more than three months would be diagnosed as having chronic migraines.
The use of Botox® can help certain types of migraines, particularly those that begin in the forehead or around the eyes. It works by blocking innervation to the sensory nerve which runs within a muscle deep to the eyebrow near the bridge of the nose. The treatments in some patients can prevent a migraine attack for about three months.
As plastic surgery and dermatology providers, we administer Botox® for cosmetic benefits, most commonly to treat wrinkles of the forehead, the eyes, and the area between the eyes, but the cost is not covered by health insurance. Botox® also can be used to help reduce the appearance of frown lines, lip lines, and other problem areas on the chin and the corners of the mouth. If you want to learn more about cosmetic improvements with Botox®, please contact Janiga MDs and make an appointment for a consultation.