The injection of botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, is a very popular method for reducing wrinkles. The effects are temporary, but injections can be done quickly, require no recovery time, and are less complicated than other cosmetic procedures for the face.
When Botox is injected into a muscle, it blocks nerve signals that tell your muscles to contract. This temporarily weakens or paralyzes the facial muscles, and smooths wrinkles in the skin.
Getting a Botox injection takes just a few minutes.
What To Expect After Treatment
For the first 2 to 3 hours after treatment, avoid strenuous activities and do not rub the treated area.
It can take 3 to 4 days before a noticeable effect takes place. It may take up to 1 week for the full effect. Results last 3 to 4 months on average but sometimes up to 6 months. After that, you may see the wrinkles return.
Why It Is Done
Botulinum toxin has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating frown lines in adults younger than 65. Botox injections also are frequently used to reduce other wrinkles on the face and neck, such as crow’s feet, brow furrow, and forehead lines.
Botulinum toxin is also approved by the FDA to treat a wide range of problems, such as chronic migraine headaches, eye muscle disorders, and muscle stiffness.
How Well It Works
Within 72 hours after injection, Botox smooths wrinkles for most people. The results last 3 to 4 months. You will have to return for injections every 3 to 4 months to keep the effect. The dose of Botox usually remains the same each time you get an injection.
The most common side effects are:
- Temporary drooping eyelid
Other side effects include flu-like symptoms, nausea, temporary facial pain, redness at the injection site, reduced blinking, and weakness in the muscles of the face. In extreme cases, this muscle weakness can limit your facial expressions. In rare cases, a sore may develop on the white of the eye (corneal ulceration).
Very serious complications may occur if the botulinum toxin spreads from where it was injected. This may cause dangerous swallowing and breathing problems. These problems can happen hours to weeks after injection and can cause death. The risk is greatest in children who are treated for muscle spasticity in the neck. Adults already having swallowing or breathing problems are also at risk for these complications.
The risks of repeated Botox injections are not known.
What To Think About
Botox injections are more convenient and less painful than other procedures for reducing wrinkles and making your face look younger. Keep in mind that the results are temporary, lasting 3-4 months. To keep the results, you will need to get injections several times a year. A single injection may seem inexpensive, but the cost of repeated injections may add up.
Before & After Photographs