Botox® is a popular treatment for dynamic wrinkles – wrinkles that occur as a result of facial movements, like smiling or frowning. It works by blocking the signals between certain facial muscles and the brain. Without Botox®, our brains tell our muscles to contract in specific ways during facial expressions. Over time, these repeated contractions cause deep lines and wrinkles to form. By blocking those signals, muscles are not told to contract, which means lines and wrinkles do not form. With repeated treatment, even deep lines and wrinkles begin to soften and fade, resulting in a more youthful, less haggard appearance.
Botox® is injected using a very fine needle into specific spots where dynamic wrinkles form – usually the area next to your eyes (crow's feet), between your brows (frown lines or glabellar lines) and across your forehead (forehead rhytids). Injections are fast and most patients report very little discomfort, if any, during treatment. Immediately afterward, there may be some redness or minor swelling at the injection sites, both of which quickly resolve. You need to avoid rubbing the treatment areas immediately after injection to ensure the material has time to “soak in” and perform its job.
The effects of injections typically last about four months in most women and men. After multiple treatments, many patients report their results tend to last longer as lines and wrinkles begin to soften and fade, and they can extend the time between injections.
Yes, Botox® is FDA-approved for cosmetic use, and it has been used for many years to safely and effectively treat dynamic wrinkles. It's also used elsewhere in medicine to treat severe muscle spasms, prevent excessive perspiration and in other applications.