Botox® (botulinum toxin) injections were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989 for neurological uses and has been used by millions since. In 2002, Botox® was approved for treatment of glabellar frown lines (vertical creases between the brows) and today is used to treat facial areas, such as the horizontal creases on the forehead.
How It Works
The passage of time, facial expressions and muscle movements contribute to lines and wrinkles in the skin. Overlying skin forms a crease where facial muscles contract and become permanent as we age. Both men and women have such creases on the forehead. Botox® treatment prevents the skin from creasing by blocking the message sent from the nerves to the muscles, prevents the contracting and keeps new wrinkles from forming and existing lines are temporarily reduced or eliminated. Administrating the Botox® with a small needle to the muscles that cause the horizontal wrinkles and creases in the areas of the forehead.
Botox® is a treatment that is specific, treating muscles at the point of injection. The treatment is reversible within months because it is temporary. No anesthesia is required and the procedure is quick with minimal discomfort. There is no downtime and patients resume normal activity immediately. According to a study co-authored by Dr. Alan Matarasso, associate professor of plastic surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York it can also be utilized in conjunction with procedures, such as forehead lifts, facelifts and eyelid surgery; to combat migraine headaches; and to eliminate hyperhydrosis or excessive perspiration.
Treatment Time Frame
Because Botox® is non-permanent additional treatments are required to keep the desired results. Initial effects are usually noted within three to four days after the injection and reach optimal results within two weeks. Results last approximately one to five months with the typical patient requiring another treatment in three to four months.
Considerations and Costs
When Botox® is used to treat horizontal lines in the forehead it is important to understand that Botox® injections can dramatically affect eyebrow shape and the arch of the eyebrow, generally women desire more arch while men do not. If too much Botox® is used in the forehead area it could lead to heaviness or droopiness says Dr. Baumann of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute, located in Miami Beach, Florida. Additionally, Dr. Baumann warns patients against Botox® in the lower forehead if they have excess or droopy eyelids. The amount of Botox® necessary to diminish horizontal wrinkles depends on the individual, amount of wrinkles and overall age but typically costs around $250 a treatment. Men require a higher does because they have stronger muscles.
Most patients experience some temporary adverse side effects, such as headaches, nausea, bruising or swelling. Side effects typically disappear within a few hours or up to several days after treatment. To date, there is no systemic complications associated with Botox® that have been documented. Consult with your physician before receiving Botox® treatment; patients with certain neuromuscular functional disorders may suffer from significant side effects.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jesse Yardley