Botulinum toxin: What is it and will it work for me?

Middle aged man reviewing wrinkles in hand mirror after botulinum toxin

What is botulinum toxin?

Botulinum toxin or “tox” is a medication derived from the bacterium clostridium botulinum. It is a neurotoxin used to temporarily relax muscles. The medication was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) over 20 years ago. It has aesthetic indications for improvement in the appearance of wrinkles in the forehead, between the eyebrows, as well as in the crow’s feet area. It may also even slow the progression of wrinkles. Treatment is done during a brief office visit with little to no downtime.

How does it help with facial wrinkles?

As we age, many of us develop facial wrinkles. This is due to many factors, such as genetics, environmental exposures (UV light for example), and repetitive activation of facial muscles. It is this last area where tox may have a dramatic effect. When injected into certain muscles in the face, it will temporarily relax those muscles. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles overlying these muscles. The effect is temporary and lasts approximately three months. Many patients return periodically for repeat treatments to maintain that youthful appearance they achieve from softening of their facial wrinkles.

Can botulinum toxin prevent facial wrinkles from developing?

As we have discussed, it can treat wrinkles, but it is also an effective method to prevent the progression of wrinkles. Wrinkles in the forehead, the frown lines between the eyebrows, and the crow’s feet are typical areas that are treated. Starting treatments at the first sign of any static wrinkles can help to prevent these wrinkles from deepening. This can help support a youthful appearance.

Do I have to take time off for the procedure?

This treatment is an attractive alternative for maintaining a youthful facial appearance for many patients as the procedure is brief. As opposed to surgical procedures which may take hours, treatment with tox may take as little as 15 to 20 minutes. There is minimal discomfort, and patients can return to their regular activities almost immediately.

Tox is a safe and effective non-surgical method to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles and in some patients halt their progression.

It is relatively inexpensive compared to surgical methods. Minimal downtime makes it the first choice for many patients desiring cosmetic improvement in their facial appearance.

Combined with the regular use of sun protection and a proper skincare routine, it can be an effective way to improve facial wrinkles and keep a youthful, healthy appearance.

If you are concerned about facial wrinkles, contact us for a consultation. Our qualified, board-certified plastic surgeons or certified RN (Registered Nurse) injectors can help you determine if this treatment is right for you.