The idea to use Botulinum toxin A for cosmetic purposes was first suggested in 1987 by an ophthalmologist, Dr. Jean Carruthers and her husband Alastair, a dermatologist. It has been an extremely popular outpatient procedure that has now been performed on over 11 million men and women.

Signs of aging such as crow’s feet, laugh lines, forehead creases and frown lines are often caused by dynamic wrinkles in our skin. BOTOX® Cosmetic acts by temporarily relaxing the tiny facial muscles that cause these wrinkles, thereby allowing the skin to smooth out over those muscles.

BOTOX® Cosmetic injection procedure

Anesthesia is typically not necessary because the injections are virtually painless, but in some cases, a local anesthesia may be applied to the face before the procedure. Typically, applying ice to the areas of injection before and after the procedure is all that is needed for patient comfort. Very small amounts of BOTOX Cosmetic (1-2cc’s per injection) are then injected into the area of the wrinkles.

Recovery time

There is very little “down time” after BOTOX® injection. You can usually resume your daily activities as soon as you leave the office. However, please be sure to follow your post-operative instructions, which include avoiding strenuous physical activity, applying makeup, laying down flat and rubbing the injected area, for at least 4 hours. Potential side effects are temporary weakness of nearby muscles and, in rare cases, drooping of the eyelid. Because BOTOX® is completely reversible, any side effect is only temporary.

How long will a treatment last?

The effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic are usually seen in 2-4 days and typically last 3-4 months, after which time you may choose to repeat the procedure. Long term use of the injections may lead to a longer duration of each treatment’s effect (closer to 6 months). If you are over 65, you may not experience as dramatic results to BOTOX® Cosmetic; if this is the case, another alternative for you may be dermal filler such as Juvederm®.