The New Science of Botox: Treating Migraines and More

Have you ever considered what Botox could do for you, but were afraid to ask? The injectable treatment best known for eliminating facial wrinkles is staging one of the biggest medical comebacks in history. Recent studies demonstrate that Botox can do much more than subtract years from a person’s face; botulinum toxin type A (the medical name of what we commonly call Botox) can alleviate migraines, minimize acne blemishes, deactivate overactive sweat glands and more.

When I set out to decide whether to try Botox, I had hundreds of questions. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available from reliable, objective sources online. In addition to authoritative sites like WebMD, Women’s Heatlth Mag and others, there are some inexpensive books that cover the subject in depth without getting too technical for the non-doctors among us.

I wanted to collect all the relevant resources in one place, along with a short listing of books about Botox. After combing through all the information, I had a more informed, objective opinion about what Botox might be able to do for me, a 59-year-old who has spent way too much time in the sun. It was also helpful to learn about the range of prices for different Botox treatment programs.

The Good and Bad of Botox

Here is a summary of what I found out about all the current uses of Botox:

  • Botox injections around the head, neck and face every three months can effectively alleviate migraine headaches. The treatment is now approved for use in the U.S. and has been in use in the U.K. for several years. Apparently the treatment only works for adults and has to be repeated four times per year to keep migraines at bay.
  • Treatments for wrinkle reduction need to be redone every 3-6 months, and the costs can mount up. Beware of “discount Botox” clinics because they tend to use a very low-quality form of the chemical, often imported from nations that have poor medical standards.
  • Many people get Botox injections to cure crossed eyes, blurred vision and eyelid spasms. The cure has to do with the way Botox relaxes the tiny muscles around the eye socket.
  • Botox does not work on all wrinkles, but it can help to reduce muscular activity in an overactive bladder, thus alleviating incontinence. Treatment for incontinence has to be repeated every few months to be effective.
  • Botox relieves excessive sweating up to two years at a time between treatments.
  • Though not widespread, one of the side effects of Botox is panic attacks accompanied by depression and anxiety.
  • Oddly, one study on Botox users found that some were happier than before the treatment. One theory doctors have about this phenomenon is that when the facial muscles are unable to frown, the brain interprets that as happiness and actually causes the emotional center to become happier as a result.
  • A common side effect of Botox is a decreased ability to make facial expressions. This limits the human body’s “vocabulary” and can possibly have long-term effects on social interaction and personality.
  • Some recent studies have shown that Botox relieves knee, hip and shoulder pain associated with arthritis. It is doubtful that anyone has sought out Botox for this reason alone, but many users have reported it in the past, even before controlled studies showed it to be true.
  • Bad news for some: A small percentage of people quickly develop a strong resistance to Botox, rendering future treatments completely ineffective.

Best Botox Books

Anybody over the age of 30 who is considering Botox should spend a few hours learning about the treatment, finding out what it typically costs, and then deciding whether it is the right thing to do. In most cases, Botox treatments are quick, inexpensive and effective. Here are two of the most comprehensive books on the subject:

Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America: This invaluable little volume explains what everyone wants to know about Botox, and sheds light on why more than 2.5 million Americans turn to it every year. For those considering Botox injections, this book offers a sensible overview of what the procedure entails, how professionals market it, and what it costs. Not bogged down with technical discussions or boring data, Botox Nation is an interesting first book for future fans of the wonder chemical known as Botox, its history, effects, science, definitions, pros, cons, costs, and more.

Botox: The Truth About Botox Injections: An Introductory Guide to Botulinum Toxin Procedures, Costs, Options, And What You Must Know: Can you handle the truth? This book has plenty of it, and it’s all about Botox. For people facing their first encounter with botulinum toxin, this is an ideal reference book that covers all the bases and then some. There is a very informative section on that compared Botox treatments to other wrinkle-elimination options. For a quick shot of information on the topic, this 78-page overview is a good place to start. Kindle offers it free to members of its unlimited program, but as an ebook it is just $2.99 to buy, which makes it one of the most affordable Botox books you’re likely to find.  

The Botox Book: Written by a doctor who specializes in all things Botox, this is one of the few books on the subject that deals with patient concerns like pain and side effects. It also fully explains why Botox injections have become the single most popular cosmetic treatment in the U.S. Other interesting, unique offerings in Dr. Kane’s book include a discussion about the parts of the fact that respond best to Botox, how much pain is involved (not much, it turns out), where to find competent practitioners, possible side effects, long-term effects, and how non-wrinkled skin can renew itself after a Botox treatment. Anyone on the fence about Botox will appreciate this book’s candid, non-pushy discussion about the good and bad aspects of the procedure.

Do You Have a Botox Story?

Have you used Botox? Are you considering having an injection? We’d enjoy hearing from those of you who have used, or thought about using Botox for whatever reason. Feel free to leave a comment below with feedback about your particular Botox experience. Was it helpful? Did you get good value for your money? What were the challenges you encountered along the way, if any? You can also visit our Facebook page and leave your comments there. Botox treatments are becoming more common and less costly every year. Sharing your experiences with other readers can help them make more informed decisions about their own treatment options.

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