Regardless of the steps taken to preserve youthful looking skin, wrinkles and lines inevitably develop as we age. One of the easiest and most popular options for minimizing these lines is an injectable treatment called BOTOX Cosmetic. BOTOX Cosmetic treatments can improve frown lines between the eyes and on the forehead, as well as crow’s feet around the eyes and wrinkles at the base of the nose.
The University of Kansas Health System offers BOTOX Cosmetic along with a full spectrum of facial plastic surgery and nonsurgical aesthetic services. BOTOX Cosmetic has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 2002 and is considered safe and effective for short-term reduction of facial wrinkles.
What is BOTOX Cosmetic?
BOTOX is the brand name for purified botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin used in plastic surgery to reduce wrinkles caused by aging and weathering. BOTOX can also be used for noncosmetic medical reasons, such as migraine treatment or treating facial spasms and other abnormal muscle contractions typical in neurological disorders.
The neurotoxin is a protein complex derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. While this drug is common for therapeutic use, the use of BOTOX for cosmetic purposes has grown in popularity, making it the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the world.
Who can have BOTOX Cosmetic?
Because BOTOX Cosmetic treatments are minimally invasive, nearly anyone can be a good candidate for this wrinkle treatment. People who see the best results from BOTOX tend to have frown lines, crow’s feet or other dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated muscle movement. BOTOX is not intended for deeper wrinkles caused by volume loss, like laugh lines, which are better addressed through the use of injectable fillers. During your consultation, our plastic surgeons will discuss your goals with you to decide which treatment will work best to help you achieve your ideal outcome.
How does BOTOX Cosmetic work?
Every time we frown, smile or squint, facial muscles contract and move the skin. Over time, these repetitive movements cause wrinkles. To reduce these fine lines and creases, our facial plastic surgeons use a very small needle to inject BOTOX Cosmetic into the targeted area.
BOTOX Cosmetic causes the treated muscles to relax, softening or eliminating fine lines and creases. The result can be a smoother and more youthful facial appearance that is typically noticeable within a few days after treatment.
See BOTOX Cosmetic in 3D
Benefits and risks of BOTOX Cosmetic
BOTOX Cosmetic is an effective nonsurgical treatment for facial rejuvenation that can deliver several benefits:
- A more youthful, rejuvenated facial appearance
- A reduction in fine lines, creases and wrinkles caused by overactive facial muscles
- Minimal discomfort during treatment
- Quick treatment sessions lasting between 10-15 minutes
- Results that last between 3-5 months
- Virtually no downtime after treatment
Contact your plastic surgeon or other healthcare professional immediately if you experience difficulty with swallowing, speaking or breathing, or if any of the following common side effects worsen: redness, bruising, stinging around the injection sites, nausea, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headache or eyelid droop.
What happens during BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments?
BOTOX® treatment takes only about 15 minutes and can be done during a standard office visit. First, you and your injector will sit down to discuss the points of injection and dosage needed. The larger the muscle to be treated, the greater the amount of BOTOX injected. The injector then marks these sites and applies a topical anesthetic to numb the area.
Once injected, the neurotoxin blocks the nerve impulses and temporarily paralyzes the muscles treated, allowing the muscles to relax and the wrinkles to smooth out. You should see a change almost right away. Results typically continue developing over the following days.
Following your procedure, you may experience temporary redness, swelling or bruising at the injection site. These reactions are normal and should subside within a few hours following treatment. Until then, oral pain medications and ice packs can usually manage any discomfort. If side effects persist 1 week after treatment, or if you experience difficulty with swallowing, speaking or breathing, please contact your BOTOX provider.
BOTOX Cosmetic FAQ
BOTOX Cosmetic is intended for use in adults aged 18 and older. While most men and women receive BOTOX injections starting around age 30, it’s not uncommon for younger people to get BOTOX injections.
The amount of BOTOX Cosmetic necessary to smooth your expression lines will vary depending on the severity of your concerns and the area(s) treated. In the forehead and frown lines, most people generally require an average of 8-20 units of product to achieve the desired result. Diminishing crow’s feet around the eyes often requires approximately 10-15 units.
Most people who have BOTOX injections report very minimal discomfort during the process, but a topical anesthetic – or numbing agent – can be applied to the targeted facial areas before treatment in order to further enhance comfort.
Results from BOTOX® Cosmetic typically last for 3-5 months before a followup treatment is necessary. However, you can help minimize the formation of new wrinkles by limiting sun exposure, wearing sunscreen, avoiding smoking, staying hydrated and maintaining a good skincare regimen.
Most people schedule BOTOX injections every 3-4 months, although the length of time between touch-ups varies from person to person. Our specialists can advise you on the best treatment plan for your goals according to the depth of your wrinkles. In general, people need fewer treatments the longer they maintain a regular BOTOX Cosmetic regimen.