Can Botox® Banish Your Wrinkles?

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Ever stand in the grocery checkout line and secretly scan the glossy tabloids? No doubt you’ve seen photos of aging celebrities with improbably smooth skin, and wondered where the wrinkles went. The answer may be Botox®.

What Is Botox®?

Botulinum toxin type A — better known as Botox® — is an injectable drug that causes temporary muscle weakness. You may know that Botox® is made from a toxin that causes botulism, a potentially deadly type of food poisoning. If that sounds scary, rest assured that Botox® is safe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating a variety of conditions. In fact, doctors have been using Botox® injections for more than two decades to treat crossed eyes, uncontrollable blinking and migraine headaches.

With Botox®, you can achieve a more youthful appearance without major surgical intervention, like a face lift.

How Is It Used?

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When used to temporarily erase facial wrinkles, Botox® is injected into certain areas of the face. These wrinkles are caused by contracting the underlying facial muscles every time you smile, laugh or frown. Botox® relaxes these muscles so they don’t contract, which means your skin stays smooth. The effects last about four to six months, but you’ll easily be able to see when it’s time to schedule another treatment with your dermatologist (skin doctor).

Side effects are rare and depend on the location of the muscles injected. They may last a few weeks, but are completely reversible and include:

  • Temporary weakness of nearby muscles
  • Minor bruising or swelling at injection site
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Facial asymmetry

You should not use Botox® if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Are the Benefits?

Wrinkles may be the sign of a well-lived life, but they can also signal your age to the world. With Botox®, you can achieve a more youthful appearance without major surgical intervention, like a face lift. It’s also a quick procedure, without any down time lost to recovery. Most patients can resume normal activity right after Botox® injections.

To find out if Botox® may be right for you, talk to your dermatologist or health care provider. 

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