Botox Cosmetic® is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. It has been used for wrinkle therapy since the early 1990's with no serious side effects documented. A small amount of Botulinum toxin is injected right into the muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles or undesirable facial muscle effects. This treatment is quick and results usually last for 3-4 months (it may stay longer if it's combined with 50mg tablets of zinc 1 week before and after the treatment).

The toxin temporarily inactivates the muscles that produce wrinkles, thereby causing lines to disappear or diminish dramatically. It usually takes a few days after the injection to notice the wrinkle smoothing effect.

Some of the common areas treated with botox include crow's feet, frown lines, laugh lines, and forehead wrinkles. The toxin can also be injected to weaken the muscles responsible for a "gummy smile", which can improve this appearance dramatically. Injections into muscles that lower the eyebrow or corners of the mouth can produce a form of temporary brow lift or lip lift. The last improvement is the use of the micro-Botox injections intradermally: tiny amounts of highly diluted Botox injections decrease the sebaceous/sweat glands secretions, relax the platysma muscle and eliminate the small wrinkles around the face (Wu WT. Microbotox of the Lower Face and Neck: Evolution of a Personal Technique and Its Clinical Effects. PRS 2015 Nov;136(5 Suppl):92S-100S).

After the first treatment, you may return for follow-up injections after 2 weeks. Some doctors report that after several treatments, the effect of Botox Cosmetic® appears to last longer, often up to several months.

Complications from Botox injections to the upper eyelid include occasional bruising from the injection, and a temporary drooping of the eyelid, which rarely occurs after frown line injection. The injected medication is used in extremely small amounts and does not spread throughout the body so you can return to full activity immediately.

Botox Cosmetic® can be used by almost anyone; however, patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have a neurologic disease should not use it. New uses for Botulinum toxin include reduction in sweating of hands (hyperhydrosis) and relief of headaches.