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Botox can do more than erase wrinkles

Oct. 17, 2012 @ 12:16 AM

What do Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman and Simon Cowell have in common? Skin that's been Botoxed into a wrinkle-free mask. And they're not alone; in 2010 almost 6 million Botox injections were delivered to North Americans trying to cover up their real age --instead of making their RealAge younger by changing what they eat, how active they are and how they manage stress (but that's for another column). Today, we want to let you know research has uncovered many uses for this toxin that acts as a micro-muscle paralyzer.

People who suffer from chronic migraines can see their headaches disappear along with their wrinkles; shots are administered every 12 weeks.

Teeth grinding that's bad enough to cause pain, headache and damage to the teeth can be eased by injecting Botox into the jaw muscles.

Tremors caused by multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's diminish after a series of injections.

People with overactive bladder problems associated with neurological conditions stop feeling like they gotta go.

Muscle spasms and jerkiness after a stroke seem quieted with Botox. Eyelid twitches (blepharospasm) and crossed or misaligned eyes (strabismus) are remedied. Injections cool down excessive sweating. And painful, uncontrollable neck-muscle contractions (cervical dystonia) also are relieved.

One caution: Botox must be administered by a skilled health-care provider (who tells you how many times he or she's done the procedure for your specific purpose). No storefront Botox mills for these medical (or any other) procedures.

Turns out Botox isn't only for the narcissist. Now that's a reason to smile -- if you can!

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.

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