BOTOX® Cosmetic is an abbreviation for botulism toxin. For clinical use, it is diluted to 1/1 Million so there is no systemic effect – it only works on the small muscles it is injected into. It is best used to treat dynamic (motion-induced) lines in the frown area between the eyes and around the eyes (crow’s feet).
Unlike HA (Hyaluronic Acid) fillers, such as JUVÉDERM® , Restylane®, or others, which fill in lines, BOTOX® Cosmetic reduces the etiology of facial expression lines i.e. the repeated contraction of the underlying facial muscles.
In younger years when skin elasticity is plentiful, skin relaxes smoothly when muscle contraction stops. However, as age progresses, skin elasticity fades and previously temporary expression lines stay visible. It is preferable to start treatment early, before lines turn into creases, as more improvement can be obtained.
Pretreatment of the skin with a topical anesthetic cream will render the treatment essentially pain free. The full effect of the treatment takes two to three days. BOTOX® Cosmetic’s main drawback, like fillers, is that its effect will fade after three to six months.
Injections into the forehead need to carefully placed and dosed to avoid droopy eyebrows as the forehead muscles, responsible for the forehead lines, are also the ones that hold the brows up.
Using BOTOX® Cosmetic in the frown and crowsfeet areas softens the look around the eyes and can also help to raise the outer brow area, known as the “BOTOX® Brow Lift”.
BOTOX® Cosmetic may be used in other areas as well but its most effective application is around the eyes and the frown areas.
BOTOX® Cosmetic should be used in moderation or in stages to avoid a ‘frozen’ look which is not aesthetically desirable.
Dysport® and XEOMIN® are BOTOX® Cosmetic’s competitors and are similar in their applications and effects.