Used to treat millions of patients worldwide, Botox®, a highly purified protein neuromodulator, is injected into certain overactive facial muscles whose repeated contractions cause unwanted lines.
How It Works
Botox® Cosmetic in controlled small doses, is injected with a very fine needle directly into the muscles that cause frown lines, the corrugator muscle. Frown lines are caused by the bunching of skin from facial muscle contraction producing a constant furrow, or frown line. Injecting Botox® Cosmetic directly into the corrugator muscle weakens it stopping your ability to draw your eyebrows together when you frown. Since the specific muscles no longer contract, the action of frowning is stopped, and the frown lines soften, relax, and diminish giving you a youthful appearance.
Neurotoxins cause these muscles to relax by blocking the nerve impulse to the muscle. Just a few small injections into the muscles reduce the lines associated with different facial expressions. Botox® can also raise the lateral eyebrow, lift the corners of the mouth, and reduce turkey bands under the neck and dimpling in the chin. This injectable product can also be used to stop underarm sweating.
While it varies from person to person, it typically can take anywhere from 2-10 days to see the full effects of the neurotoxin. You will start to notice that the wrinkles will soften and the muscles are weaker.
These neurotoxins typically last around 3-4 months. At this time, you will start to notice that full movement of the muscles will return. We typically tell patients to come back in at this time for evaluation and re-treatment.
Is It Safe?
Botox® Cosmetic has been used since 1980 for the treatment of strabismus (lazy eye) and blepharospasm (uncontrolled eye blinking). Since 1989, it has also been used for hyperfunctional facial lines. There have been many scientific articles showing the positive effect of Botox® Cosmetic on facial lines. In 2002, the FDA approved Botox® Cosmetic for the cosmetic treatment of frown lines in the midface, known as glabellar furrows.
As with any injection, there can be temporary swelling, redness, bruising, headache, or local discomfort. Rarely, patients have been reported to develop a slight lowering of the eyelid (ptosis), or a slight lowering of the forehead. This is temporary, and resolves in a few weeks. Some patients may have an uneven or incomplete response to treatment. Botox® Cosmetic does not reduce the action of the muscles of facial expression distant from the site of treatment. Patients with neuromuscular disorders should inform their doctor before therapy. Botox® Cosmetic treatment should not be administered to women who are pregnant.