Most known for reducing crow’s feet, frown lines and wrinkles, BOTOX® is the leading non-surgical cosmetic medical procedure globally and its popularity continues to skyrocket. During 2012, more than 6 million BOTOX® treatments were performed in the U.S. alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.1
BOTOX® works by relaxing the facial muscles. It is a purified protein produced by the clostridium botulinum bacterium, and has been approved by the FDA since 2002 for treatment of glabellar lines – commonly known as frown lines – between the eyes and above the nose. In 2013, Allergan, makers of BOTOX®, also received FDA approval for treatment of lateral canthal lines and wrinkles around the eyes (crow's feet). Many plastic surgeons, dermatologists and other physicians who use BOTOX® employ it for a wider spectrum of facial lines and wrinkles that includes forehead lines, bunny lines (across the top of the nose), marionette lines (below the corners of the mouth),smile lines and smoker’s lines.
In the hands of an experienced injector, BOTOX® can produce even greater effect by lifting facial features and contouring the face . There is a constant tug of war between the facial muscles that pull up (levators) and those that pull down (depressors). Using BOTOX® to relax the depressor muscles allows the levators to win the contest, producing a gentle lift in the treated facial area.
For decades before its enthusiastic adoption as a cosmetic wonder therapy, BOTOX® was used to treat the medical condition blepharospasm (twitching in the eye area). Medically indicated use has expanded to include headaches, excess sweating and disabling muscle spasms. <
Such use requires much stronger doses than cosmetic applications, and physicians dilute BOTOX® with a saline solution before administering it for cosmetic treatment. By using a dilution technique that enables the BOTOX® to provide more subtle action on the target muscles, an experienced physician can optimize therapy outcomes.
A BOTOX® cosmetic treatment typically takes just a few minutes of injecting the fluid into the targeted area with a fine-gauge needle and requires virtually no recovery time. Since the needle is so tiny and the procedure so quick, physicians do not usually numb the area being treated. In sensitive areas such as around the lips, however, some physicians may apply local anesthesia just prior to the treatment. Within days, most patients experience noticeable improvement in moderate to severe facial lines.
As a revolutionary method to improve outcomes, manage costs and maximize effectiveness for their patients, several leading physicians in the U.S. now combine BOTOX® with other cosmetic dermatology procedures such as dermal fillers. By including BOTOX® in the combination therapy, the reduced muscle movement helps to slow down the dissipation of the dermal filler and lengthen its benefits.
To sustain the effect gained by a BOTOX® treatment, a patient can initially expect to require maintenance treatments every three to five months – depending on the person, the physician technique and the area to be treated. Patients may be able to reduce the amount of BOTOX® needed for each treatment by returning for follow-ups as soon as they see or feel excess movement in the treated area..
BOTOX® is not recommended for individuals with infections at the injection sites, neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, and is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your physician for a complete list of BOTOX® side effects and to determine if BOTOX® is right for you.
1 Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Allergan, Inc.
BOTOX® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc.
Mark M. Hamilton, MD F.A.C.S., Indianapolis, IN
Paul Vitenas, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., Houston, TX
Robert & Margaret Weiss M.D., Hunt Valley, MD ~ Sanjay Grover M.D. F.A.C.S., Los Angeles, CA
Patrick M. Flaharty MD, Fort Myers, FL ~ Alan B. Brackup MD FACS, Langhorne, PA
Pamela M. Carr M.D., Sugar Land, TX