27 March 2009

Next week sees Botox - Botulinum toxin - celebrate its twentieth birthday and recent research has found that the treatment, beloved by millions, has a number of beneficial applications besides holding back time. It has been revealed that Botox can in fact also be used to aid problems as varied as excessive sweating and migraines. Approved for use on humans back in 1989, the clinical applications of Botox have become manifold over the last twenty years. Perhaps best known as the non-surgical cosmetic treatment of choice for celebrities and the general public alike, extensive research has found that Botox can also be successful in treating a wide range of conditions. According to the Sun, Botox injections have been found to ease the suffering of children affected by cerebral palsy. The jabs can help to relax tendons that spasm, therefore help children with the condition to walk. Additionally, Botox can be used to freeze nerves that control sweat glands and therefore help sufferers from the symptoms of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Injections into muscles in the head and neck have also been found to alleviate the debilitating pain of migraines. A study in the Clinical Journal of pain also revealed that in a group of 60 patients more than half found Botox decreased their lower back pain over a two month period. It has also been found that stroke victims suffering damage to the part of the brain that controls muscles - leaving them with painful contractions - can find relief from muscle-relaxing injections of Botox. As well as various medical applications, Botox continues to gain popularity as a non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedure, with a sharp increase in the number of men choosing the procedure - earning the phenomenon the 'boytox' moniker.