How Does BOTOX® Work?

BOTOX® is a neuromuscular agent, which means it acts on the connections or pathways that travel between the muscles and the brain, binding with the nerves so normal signaling is interrupted. In wrinkle treatment, BOTOX® is used to treat so-called dynamic wrinkles that form over time as a result of repeated facial movements and expressions like smiling and frowning. These wrinkles occur when the facial muscles contract, tugging on the overlying skin can causing it to fold into lines and creases. When injected into these muscles, BOTOX® blocks the nerve signals between specific the muscles and the brain so those muscles won’t contract and lines and creases can’t form in the overlying skin. BOTOX® is most commonly used to treat wrinkles in the upper third of the face, including crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes, frown lines that form between the brows and forehead lines.

What Happens During a BOTOX® Treatment?

Treatment begins with a careful assessment of the face to determine the best placement of the injections. During treatment, a very fine needle is used to administer BOTOX® to the treatment area. This needle is much thinner than a needle used for immunizations, and most patients experience very little discomfort beyond a small “pinching” sensation. Once treatment is complete, there may be some tenderness and minor swelling in the area, both of which will resolve soon after treatment. Although ice can be applied to the area, it’s important not to rub the treatment site to avoid spreading the BOTOX® outside the treatment site. The number of injections and amount of BOTOX® used during treatment will depend on the area that’s being treated and the extent of the treatment, as well as other factors. Most patients will see the initial results of treatment within a week or two of their treatment.

How Long Will Results Last?

The results of BOTOX® last for about four to six months, depending on the location of the treatment and other factors. Touch-up treatments can help results last indefinitely, and many patients report repeated injections help soften lines and wrinkles so the time between touch-ups can be extended.