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I’m cautious when it comes to Botox…
I think it makes people look permanently surprised… and in some cases older than they are. That’s why I’ve never gotten it myself.
I’m sure there are plenty of people who’ve gotten Botox that’s so subtle and so well-done that they look like a 21-year old who just got back from a relaxing beach vacation.
However, unless those covert Botox-users come knocking on my door with receipts from their dermatologist’s office, I’ll probably stay away for now.
But even though I’m the last person who’d typically advise you to go under the Botox needle, there’s one circumstance when even I think you should give Botox serious consideration…
When you suffer from chronic migraines.
The benefits of Botox for migraine sufferers
Over the years, there’s been evidence that a Botox treatment can help people with chronic, debilitating migraines. Recently, a team of researchers from University Hospital Rangueil in France reviewed some of this evidence….
They looked at 17 studies that included almost 3,650 people. Roughly 1,550 of these people had chronic migraines, which meant they had at least 15 headache attacks per month for longer than three months. Everyone else in the study had migraines too, but not that frequently.
After looking at the data, researchers determined that people who got a Botox treatment had fewer migraines. People with chronic migraines had an average of 1.6 fewer migraine attacks per month three months after receiving a Botox injection. They noticed an improvement as early as two months after injection. People with episodic migraines (0 to 14 headache days per month) experienced an improvement too.
People who received a Botox treatment for their migraines also reported an improved quality of life, as well as less depression and anxiety.
Botox risks to be aware of…
Now, before you head to the doctor and demand a Botox treatment for your migraines, you should know that there are potential side effects…
Botox can have minor, temporary side effects, like:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Droopy eyelid
- Cockeyed eyebrows
- Crooked smile or drooling
- Eye dryness or excessive tearing
It can also have more serious side effects. Botox is, after all, made from the toxin that causes botulism, a potentially deadly disease. Luckily, serious side effects are rare, but it’s still good to be on the lookout. If any of these side effects develop after a Botox treatment, call your doctor right away:
- Muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Trouble speaking
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of bladder control
If you want to avoid that surprised, unnatural Botox look I mentioned earlier, it shouldn’t be that hard. That usually happens when people go overboard with the Botox, trying to eliminate every single line and wrinkle.
Related: 7 steps to fewer migraines
If you’re just getting a Botox treatment for migraines, it’ll be spread across a variety of injection sites, rather than concentrated in one area. Many of these sites won’t even be visible, like the back of your neck and side of your head.
You should also make sure to get your Botox treatment done through a board-certified headache specialist rather than a dermatologist or even a neurologist. You can find one on this list of certified headache doctors.
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- Botulinum toxin reduces chronic migraine attacks, compared to placebo — MedicalXpress
- Botulinum Toxin versus Placebo: A Meta-Analysis of Prophylactic Treatment for Migraine — Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Botox Injections — Mayo Clinic