Botox is one of the most demanded treatments in aesthetic medicine consultations, along with hyaluronic acid infiltrations, to rejuvenate the face. It is mainly used to correct wrinkles in the upper third: forehead, frown lines and crow's feet. But it has other uses: bruxism, excessive sweating, vaginismus, migraines, strabismus, spasms...
Doctor Paloma González, from the Chamberí Clinic, explains that "botulinum toxin type A, popularly known by one of its trade names (botox), is a very effective neurotoxic poison that inhibits signal transmission in the neuromuscular plate, producing a muscle paralysis In the right proportion, it has a beneficial effect for many pathologies where the problem lies in an involuntary or excessive movement of a muscle”.
In the case of bruxism (teeth grinding, something very common due to stress), Dr. Paloma González points out that “Botox will act by relaxing the masseter muscle and inhibiting excess chewing power. In patients in whom the masseter muscle has overdeveloped, increased in size and changed the facial physiognomy of the patient, the application of botulinum toxin acts by reducing the size of the muscle and, consequently, slimming the face. In addition, it eliminates the problems associated with bruxism, such as tension headaches, ear, neck or back pain, tooth wear and temporomandibular dysfunction. Botox has a temporary effect, therefore, if you want to maintain it over time, the application will have to be repeated every 6-8 months.
Another use of Botox is to combat hyperhidrosis (excess sweat) located in the armpits and the palms of the hand. “Its function is to block the acetylcholine receptor at the sweat gland level, but it does so at a local level, therefore, it does not have systemic effects. It is contraindicated in those allergic to eggs and as a side effect in some rare cases, compensatory hyper-sweating can occur in other areas, most commonly in the upper and central area of the back", comments Dr. Pilar de Frutos, plastic surgeon, expert in aesthetic medicine and director of the clinic that bears her name. The duration of treatment is between 6 months and one year.
Less well known is the application of Botox in the genital area. The objective, according to Dr. Bárbara Fernández del Bas, a specialist in longevity and aesthetic gynecology at Clinique La Prairie, “is the relaxation of the muscles where it is applied. Botulinum toxin works by blocking the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, resulting in chemo-denervation causing temporary flaccid paralysis of the muscle for about 6 months. It is indicated to improve grade I and II vaginismus, vulvodynia, vestibulodynia, painful episiotomy and dyspareunia with hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction”. In these cases, the doctor explains that only one genital Botox session is necessary. "After the first application, a complete regenerative and sexological treatment is started to improve the patient's pain dysfunction and no further sessions are required."
On the other hand, Botox also helps with two fairly common dermatological problems such as acne and rosacea. Dr. Virtudes Ruiz, general surgeon and aesthetic doctor at Virtud Estética, explains that “botulinum toxin, infiltrated in a more diluted way and with the mesotherapy technique, can regulate sebaceous secretion and improve mild or moderate acne. This active ingredient acts on the acetylcholine system, which is the neurotransmitter involved in sebum production, reducing its activity. In addition, it helps prevent acne breakouts and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which reduces the marks and scars that may remain. The expert recommends a session every three months, if there is an outbreak of acne.
In the case of rosacea, the doctor points out that “the very diluted botulinum toxin infiltrates to act on cells called mast cells, thus preventing them from releasing pro-inflammatory agents. A reduction in edema, erythema and redness is achieved. The results last between 3 and 4 months. A session is recommended when there is an inflammatory outbreak or every 4 months.