This week, we’re back on one of my favorite topics: surprising and wonderful uses for Botox! For those who are new to the blog, here’s a brief primer on how Botox works. The substance is derived from the botulinum toxin. In large doses, this toxin can cause a lot of problems. You may have heard of botulism being caused by garlic in oil, for example. In very small, controlled doses, on the other hand, botulinum simply blocks signals from certain nerves to muscles, allowing those muscles to relax.
What does that mean for your neck? Cosmetically speaking, it means that skin that is very taut around neck muscles can be made to look smoother and more youthful. This is achieved by injecting Botox to relax the muscles allowing the skin to rest more naturally on the neck. This can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and it can also decrease the appearance of neckbands.
The muscles in your neck don’t just affect the look of your neck, though; they can also affect your jaw. Injections in the neck can be helpful if you have cheeks that hang below the jawline, sometimes called jowls. This is because the muscles in your neck are what pull your jaw downwards.
These cosmetic effects of Botox are unsurprising; that’s been the application of the toxin for ages. What’s a bit more fascinating is the use of Botox to help provide pain relief. There’s a study that found that Botox, when used in conjunction with physical therapy, can help relieve chronic neck pain. While the study did not compare physical therapy and Botox with physical therapy alone, the researchers speculate that because Botox relaxes the muscle before the therapy, spasms are reduced and rehabilitation efforts are more readily received.
There are, of course, a number of things to consider before proceeding with a Botox treatment in your neck. The pain relieving, therapeutic versions of Botox have not been readily studied yet, so we wouldn’t recommend having that done until more research has been provided. When it comes to cosmetic Botox, it’s quite safe, which is part of the reason it’s become so popular. You shouldn’t use the treatment if you know you’re allergic to Botox (obviously). You should also let us know if you have problems swallowing, bleeding problems, facial muscle weakness, breathing disorders, or any other medical problems. In other words, give us any and all medical info before having the treatment done, just in case!
You should also remember that cosmetic treatments don’t take place in a vacuum; changing the aesthetic of one part of your body often means changing other parts as well in order to keep a good balance. Your Botox procedure will likely be coupled with other cosmetic procedures in order to maintain this balance. We will do a full consultation, tell you about our aesthetic philosophy, and help you achieve the look you want.