The many uses of Botox, both cosmetic and therapeutic, continues to amaze clients and health care practitioners everywhere! The latest therapeutic finding is that Botox can be used to treat pain associated with shingles, a highly inflammatory and often difficult to manage condition.
Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin A, known primarily in the medical aesthetics world as an extremely effective treatment for smoothing and preventing wrinkles. But in the therapeutic world, Botox injections are also a viable treatment option for chronic migraine and cluster headaches, hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating, urinary incontinence, Bell’s palsy and muscle spasms.
Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, also responsible for chickenpox. After contracting chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in nerve roots and for many people, never flares up again. But for others less fortunate, it awakens (typically in older persons) causing an agonizing skin rash with lingering pain. While about fifty percent of patients respond well to traditional pain medications for shingles, the other half is unfortunately left to suffer—until now.
Neurologists have recently discovered that Botox offers relief for shingles pain by blocking the release of chemicals involved in nerve transmission. While relief was found to be long-lasting, the only significant side effect was minimal pain at the injection site for some people.
“I think we’ve only begun to see how Botox can help people look and feel their best,” says Louis Silberman, CEO and Founder of National Laser Institute, one of the country’s largest medical aesthetics training schools. “We know how it smoothes skin and erases years from a person’s face, neck and hands. But Botox can obviously do so much more. Without a doubt, this is an exciting time for researchers in the medical aesthetics industry.”