Botox was originally FDA approved in 1989 for the treatment of blepharospasm and other eye muscle problems. In 2002, the FDA approved the use of Botox for cosmetic treatment for moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows. It was approved by the FDA for the treatment of wrinkles around the corners of the eyes (crow's feet) in 2013.
According to a 2016 clinical study, Botox is a simple, safe, and effective treatment for the reduction of forehead wrinkles. In 2016, over 4.5 million procedures were performed using Botox and similar medication to fight wrinkles. This type of procedure is the number one nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States.
Preparing for Botox Cosmetic
Botox Cosmetic involves a nonsurgical, in-office treatment. It requires minimal preparation. You should let your treatment provider know about your medical history, allergies, or medical conditions before your procedure. Your treatment provider should be a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or nurse.
You might need to remove all your makeup and cleanse the treatment area before the procedure. You may also need to avoid blood-thinning medicine like aspirin to reduce the risk of bruising.
What areas of the body can be treated with Botox Cosmetic?
• Cosmetically, the injectable can be used in the following areas:
• The area between the eyebrows (glabellar region), to treat moderate to severe frown lines
• Around the eyes, commonly known as crow’s feet lines
Botox also received FDA approval to treat various medical problems, including:
• overactive bladder
• excessive underarm sweating
• lower limb spasticity
• chronic migraines
How does Botox Cosmetic work?
Botox Cosmetic works by temporarily blocking nerve signals and muscle contractions. This improves the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and between the eyebrows. It can also slow the formation of new lines by preventing the contraction of facial muscles. It’s a minimally invasive procedure. It doesn’t involve incisions or general anesthesia. If you’re concerned about pain or discomfort, a topical anesthetic or ice can numb the treatment area.
During the procedure, your provider will use a thin needle to administer 3-5 injections of botulinum toxin type A. They will inject the targeted area between the eyebrows. You will usually need three injections on the side of each eye to smooth out crow’s feet.
The entire procedure takes approximately 10 minutes.
Risks and side effects
Minor bruising or discomfort may occur but should improve within a few days. Other side effects may include:
• swelling or drooping in the eyelid area
• neck pain
• double vision
• dry eyes
• allergic reactions, such as rash, itching, or asthma symptoms
Contact your provider immediately if any of these side effects occur.
What to expect after Botox Cosmetic
Avoid rubbing, massaging, or applying any pressure to the treated area. These actions can cause Botox Cosmetic to spread to other areas of the body. This can negatively affect your results. When being injected between the brows, do not lie down or bend over for three to four hours. Doing so may cause the Botox to slip under the orbital rim. This could possibly cause an eyelid droop.
There is little to no downtime expected after the treatment. You should be able to resume normal activities immediately in most cases.
It’s important to understand possible improvements and has realistic expectations. Noticeable results can be expected within 1-2 days post-treatment. The full effect of Botox Cosmetic typically lasts up to four months. It can also help prevent the return of fine lines by relaxing the muscles.
Additional Botox injections can be administered to maintain your results.