BOTOX® at a glance
- BOTOX® (botulinum toxin type A) is a proprietary injection fluid that weakens or paralyzes certain muscles by temporarily blocking nerves, resulting in smoother skin and fewer wrinkles.
- BOTOX® is the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the U.S.
- There is no downtime or healing period required after BOTOX® procedures.
- Results last three to five months and can be repeated.
What is BOTOX®?
BOTOX® is the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the U.S. More than six million Americans receive BOTOX® injections each year.
BOTOX®, approved by the FDA in 2002, is made from Clostridium botulinum (a bacteria). BOTOX® comprises the same toxin that causes botulism, a life-threatening type of food poisoning. Plastic surgeons and medical aestheticians use BOTOX® in smaller doses to safely treat health and cosmetic issues.
BOTOX® injections minimize crow’s feet and frown lines on the forehead and between the eyes by temporarily relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles and frown lines. BOTOX® may also be injected into lip and nasal lines, as well as the chin. BOTOX® prevents muscles from contracting, which cause the skin to appear less wrinkled and smoother.
More advanced medical aestheticians may sculpt and actually raise the eyebrows. BOTOX® may be used for non-cosmetic purposes including chronic migraines, overactive bladder and excessive underarm sweating.
How is BOTOX® for cosmetics performed?
A plastic surgeon or medical aesthetician injects BOTOX® using a thin needle into the muscles under the skin. Anesthesia is unnecessary for the procedure, although some patients may elect a topical anesthesia.
Measured and administered in units, BOTOX® dosage varies from patient to patient. One syringe of BOTOX® can include up to 25 units. Stronger muscles require larger amounts of BOTOX®. The area between and around the eyes typically requires the most BOTOX® units (16-30 units).
The full effect of BOTOX® injections generally takes three to seven days. New injections are usually needed in three to five months as muscles return to their normal function. However, because the muscles are in effect being trained to act differently under BOTOX®, wrinkles and lines may appear less severe over time.
Recovering from BOTOX®
BOTOX® popularity is due in part to the short recovery process. BOTOX® requires no downtime and patients may resume any activities immediately after receiving BOTOX®, including makeup application.
BOTOX® risks and considerations
BOTOX® carries minimal procedural risks. Patients may experience pain, bruising or swelling at the injection site. In rare instances, patients may experience flu-like symptoms, including upset stomach and headache.
Selecting a qualified plastic surgeon or medical aesthetician is critical to achieving high-quality results from BOTOX®. If injections are placed incorrectly, patients may experience rare problems, such as a droopy eyelid, an uneven smile, asymmetrical eyebrows and excessive tearing or dry eyes.
Because the side effects on unborn babies are inconclusive, most experts do not recommend that pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding receive BOTOX® treatments. Patients with certain neurological disorders should not use BOTOX®.
BOTOX® injections don’t work to correct all wrinkles.