Almost everyone knows about the use of BOTOX COSMETIC® injections, and other neuromodulators such as DYSPORT® and XEOMIN®, for the treatment of the “11” lines in the central forehead, crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles and saggy eyebrows. But there are numerous other ways this drug can be used and interesting bits of information about it.
Did you know that the use of BOTOX COSMETIC® injections for cosmetic purposes was discovered by Canadian doctors, Doctors Alastair and Jean Carruthers of Vancouver? They were using it to weaken the muscles of the eye to correct strabismus (a turned-in eye due to muscle imbalance) and noted how the crow’s feet disappeared. This was in the mid ’90s, and over the past 19 years there have been more than 4,000 studies and papers published about BOTOX COSMETIC® treatment. And although its cosmetic use continues to grow, more BOTOX COSMETIC® is actually now used to treat medical conditions as varied as spastic dysphonia (voice muscle spasm), cerebral palsy and urological conditions than for cosmetic treatments.
Some of the less common uses of BOTOX COSMETIC® injections include lowering rather than raising the eyebrow. This can correct marked eyebrow asymmetries which are congenital, or improve the look of a unilateral eyebrow paralysis due to facial nerve injury by lowering the opposite brow. At the root of the nose the oblique “crinkle lines,” often called “bunny lines,” can be diminished. For those who have crow’s feet extending well into the temple, a small BOTOX COSMETIC® dose softens this area as well as preventing recruitment of muscles which creates additional wrinkles.
You may have noticed some people show a large portion of the upper gums when smiling – a “gummy smile.” With some BOTOX COSMETIC® treatment at the corners of the nose, the elevator muscles of the upper lip are weakened, allowing the lip to rest in a more attractive position and diminish gum show. In the chin region, BOTOX COSMETIC® injection is very effective to decrease the “peau d’orange” or a “skin of an orange” look associated with an overactive mentalis muscle.
Finally, a very interesting cosmetic use of the injectable is to diminish the bulk of the masseter muscle – the largest jaw muscle used to chew. In some people, especially Asians, this muscle is hypertrophied, leading to a very full cheek and square-jaw appearance. BOTOX COSMETIC® injections into the muscle can decrease its bulk, preserving its function, to create a more triangular, feminine cheek and jaw line.
BOTOX COSMETIC® continues to be a “wonder drug” for both aesthetic and non-aesthetic purposes. Undoubtedly even more uses for it will be discovered in the years ahead.