What is Botox?

Dear Dr. Manny,

My mother-in-law keeps talking about botox. What exactly is botox? I know some people use it as a filler, but my doctor said it can be used for other things. Can it be used to treat sweating? 

Botox is a product that is made from the bacteria that causes botulism. It blocks nerve activity in the muscles. 

People don’t just use botox for plastic surgery. It is also used to stop spasms in neck muscles of adults, and muscle stiffness in elbows, wrists and fingers in children who have a condition known as upper limb spasticity. 

For adults, botox also helps relieve an overactive bladder, incontinence, and for nervous disorders, such as multiple sclerosis. People who have chronic migraines and are unable to function because of those migraines use botox to treat their condition. However, this is only intended for severe chronic migraines, not a simple headache. 

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If you have an infection where botox is going to be injected, you should wait until your infection is gone. It is made from donated human plasma, so it might have contaminants, viruses, or other infections. 

The botox is administered through injection by a medical professional. You should not get botox from any other outlet. 

Botox is quite effective when used to treat hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating. If prescription antiperspirants don’t work, your doctor may recommend it. Botox is proven to help excessive armpit sweating, but it can be used offbrand to treat excessive sweating in other parts of the body. 

Botox paralyzes the overactive nerves that cause the excess sweating. It only works in the area where it’s been injected. 

If you can’t stop sweating, ask your doctor about botox. It may work for you.

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