Even if beauty is skin deep, several beautification processes aren't. Besides banishing wrinkles, Botox injections have been proven to be of significant use in improving people's quality of life when they suffer from certain embarrassing conditions like an overactive bladder (OAB).
A study published in the June issue of BJU International shows that patients who had Botox injections to control bladder problems reported significant improvements in their lives as well as their symptoms for at least 24 weeks.
To reach the conclusion, UK urologists from Guy's Hospital and King's College London carried out a randomised, double-blind placebo trial on 34 patients with an average age of 50.
Seven men and nine women received the Botox injections while eight men and ten women received the placebo.
"The Botox or placebo injections were administered using a flexible injection needle inside a cystoscope, a long tube that enables urologists to see inside the bladder," explains consultant urological surgeon Prokar Dasgupta from Guy's Hospital and King's College London School of Medicine.
"This minimally invasive technique involved 20 injections - five in the midline posterior bladder wall, five in the left lateral wall, five in the right lateral wall and five across the dome of the bladder. In all, 200ml of Botox or placebo was administered," the expert added.
Patients in both groups were assessed when they started the study and at four, 12 and 24 weeks after they received the injection. All the patients who took part in the study had failed to tolerate or respond to anticholinergic drugs, which, along with lifestyle modifications and bladder training, are traditionally used to manage OAB.
Patients who received the Botox injections reported significant improvements when it came to a number of quality of life factors. These were measured using the King's Health Questionnaire, a zero to 100 scale, which was developed in the late 1990s to assess women with urinary incontinence. High scores recorded on the scale indicate a lower quality of life.
All the factors the researchers studied showed a reduction.