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Botox ® More than Wrinkle Eraser

July 28th, 2011

Botox ® has been approved for limited use since the 1980’s to treat many muscle related problems.  The botulinum toxin was first used in a non-cosmetic clinical setting.   As with many new drugs, alternate uses have been discovered and treating facial wrinkles has certainly proved to be a big one.  Botox continues to provide substantial medical benefits aside from the most common cosmetic uses.

Botox is effective in treating a variety of conditions, usually involving muscles.  They include, blepharospasm and strabismus, which are neurological movement disorders affecting the face.  It is also used to treat muscles that are hypertonic, lacking the ability for active lengthening.

The first example of an FDA approved non-muscular use is for the treatment of over-active sweat glands.   Sweat glands under the arm are injected and a reduction of excessive sweating may last up to 6 months.  However, this can be quite an uncomfortable procedure, as the armpit has lots of nerve endings and is particularly sensitive.

Clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate use for migraines, where injections into the head and neck muscles may reduce the onset of migraines.  This new usage offers the potential to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from chronic migraines.

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Of Course, 8 is Too Young for Botox ® UPDATE

May 12th, 2011

UPDATE: The mother of the 8-year-old has lost custody of her child, after an investigation was launched by San Francisco Human Services, according to ABC news today.

Has the intense need for perfection led some parents to extremes in seeking Botox ®  injections  for their young children?   The short answer is, yes!   Today Good Morning America  featured a story about a mother giving her 8-year-old Botox injections to gain a competitive edge for children’s beauty pageants!   I find this extremely disturbing and quite alarming to further find out that sadly this seems to be a rather common occurrence in the pageant circuit.

According to Allergan,  for Botox ®, the protocol is as follows:

Botox ®  Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time.                                                                IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FROM ALLERGAN

Botox ®  Cosmetic may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening, for hours to weeks following an injection of Botox ®

I have to believe that no reputable physician would inject a child with a cosmetic treatment of this nature.   Besides being unethical, there can be serious consequences for the child, both physical and emotional.   While Botox has been proven to be safe for adults over 18, it is certainly off-limits for children.   The practice seems abusive to me and I can’t imagine any sane parent subjecting to a child to these injections.

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