Botox Cosmetic or “Botox” is an FDA-approved injectable solution that acts to relax muscles and reduce wrinkles. As we animate our faces, our muscles contract to form forehead creases; smile, scowl, and squint lines. Botox works by disrupting signals between nerves and muscles so that the muscles aren’t able to “flex.” This causes less muscle movement and prevents creases and wrinkles from becoming etched into the skin. Although Botox is best for wrinkles that are formed when animating the face, it can be used to soften some deeper lines that are present at rest. Multiple Botox treatments can improve these wrinkles over time, but lines may not completely disappear.
Most often Botox is used to target horizontal forehead lines, squint lines (crow’s feet), and scowl lines (“angry 11s”). With specialized techniques, it can also be used to increase eyebrow arch, smooth “sniff” or “bunny” lines, raise a down-turned smile, correct a pebbly chin, elongate the face, minimize a masculine jaw, soften vertical neck bands (“grimace” bands), and control excessive sweating on the palms, soles, & under the arms.
Botox takes 2-7 days to reduce muscle movement, and it typically lasts between 3-4 months. Muscle movement gradually returns as its effects wane. Repeat treatments every 3-4 months help soften lines most effectively.
At Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery, our goal is to maximize your comfort during treatment sessions. Because we use very fine needles, most patients experience minimal discomfort. Topical numbing cream and ice packs are available if desired. Temporary bruising and swelling are possible, but other side effects are rare. Before treatment, your dermatologist will thoroughly discuss the procedure and answer any questions you may have.