Slide 1 of 15
Botox is typically known as a tool for smoothing out wrinkles, but it actually has many other applications in medicine.
Botox, a trademark that's short for botulinum toxin, is a neuromuscular blocker, which means it paralyzes the muscle into which it is injected, said Dr. Daniel Maman, a board-certified plastic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. And because muscle issues are involved in many different types of medical conditions, the range of medical applications of Botox has been expanding, he told Live Science. The drug has uses in neurological conditions, such as migraines and drooling from Parkinson's disease.
Here's a look at seven conditions that Botox is used to treat.
Crossed EyesSlide 2 of 15
The first time Botox was ever used for a medical purpose was in 1981, to treat people with crossed eyes, according to the e-book "Plastic Surgery," by Lana Thompson. In 1989, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved the use of Botox for this condition.Injecting Botox into muscles that control the movement of the eye reduces the appearance of crossed eyes.Slide 3 of 15
Excessive sweating and body odorSlide 4 of 15
Excessive sweating and body odor
For those who sweat too much or who have trouble reducing their body odor with the use of traditional deodorants, Botox injections may be helpful, research has shown. Normally, sweat is produced when the small muscles around sweat glands squeeze the liquid out, Maman said."And if you can paralyze those small muscles, then the sweat glands are no longer functioning like they normally would," he said.
In a 2007 study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, researchers injected Botox into the armpits of 51 people. Both the participants and the independent raters of smell samples from the people's armpits said the people's underarm odor was less unpleasant after they received the injections. Botox was approved by the FDA to treat excessive sweating in 2004.Slide 5 of 15
Chronic painSlide 6 of 15
Botox may help treat people with myofascial pain syndrome, which is a chronic condition that involves muscle pain.
In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, researchers injected Botox into the painful muscles in the neck and shoulder areas of 114 people with the condition. The researchers found that the people's pain was reduced after they received the injections.
Traditionally, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen have been used to treat the symptoms of this condition. However, "long-term benefit with traditional therapies is transient and unpredictable," Dr. Andrea L. Nicol, who led the study and is an assistant clinical professor of anesthesiology at UCLA, said in a statement. [5 Surprising Facts About Pain]Slide 7 of 15
Drooling in Parkinson's diseaseSlide 8 of 15