Botox® is the brand name for onabotulinumtoxinA. Botox® Cosmetic is approved by the FDA to smooth the frown lines between the eyebrows. It is used off label for other areas of the face to decrease wrinkles.
How Does Botox® Cosmetic Work?
For most wrinkles in the skin, the wrinkles are due to muscle contraction under the skin. Botox® Cosmetic is injected into the muscle under the wrinkle to decrease its ability to contract. The toxin blocks the nerve impulse to the muscle.
Botox® Cosmetic is not a filler but works by blocking muscle contraction. It takes about two to four days to attach to the nerve ending and start its effect. It takes about one to two weeks for the maximum effect to take place.
Contraindications and Precautions for Using Botox® Cosmetic
Allergic to any ingredients in Botox® Cosmetic
Allergic or had a side effect from other brands of botulinum toxin such as Dysport®, Myobloc®, and Xeomin®
A skin disease or infection in the area of the injections
Difficulty in swelling
History of weakness in the facial muscles
Ptosis or drooping eyelid
Diseases that affect the muscles or nerves such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, myasthenia gravis, and similar diseases
History of facial surgery
Plan to have surgery
Taking certain medicines or vitamins
Should not have injection if planning a pregnancy, pregnant, or nursing
How Long Does Botox® Cosmetic Last?
Botox® Cosmetic usually lasts about three or four months. In some people, the more injections that have been given over time the longer its affects.
As with any medicine, you can develop antibodies to the proteins in the medicine. This can lead to it being less effective or it can lead to an allergic response to the medicine.
Botox® Cosmetic Side Effects
Botox® Cosmetic side effects are pain and inflammation at the injection site, infection, redness, swelling, bruising, bleeding, and itching at the injection site.
An allergic reaction can occur with the toxin such as a rash, itching, hives (red welts), wheezing, asthma, light headed, and dizziness.
Rarely, such things as headache, tiredness, and dry mouth have been reported.
Botox® Cosmetic can spread for a short distance beyond the injection site. Therefore, drooping of the eyelids can occur. Fortunately, this is temporary. It is important that the injections are placed in the proper position as to minimize these effects.
Less common other ocular side effects include double vision, blurred vision, dry eyes, and swelling of the eyelids.
Botox® Cosmetic is an effective way of treating facial wrinkles. The side effects are minimal and temporary and temporary. Consult your eye doctor about you being a good candidate for Botox® Cosmetic.