Botox is most effective on wrinkles that haven’t quite set -- “dynamic” wrinkles that appear while you’re moving your face, such as when you frown. “If you don’t move the muscle too much, you won’t form the wrinkle,” says Columbia University dermatologist Monica Halem, MD. She considers Botox preventive.
Botulinum toxin (Botox, onabotulinumtoxin)
Botulinum toxin (Botox, onabotulinumtoxin) is a material that has been known for over a century and used for medical purposes for more than 50 years. Its initial uses were for lazy eye (strabismus), blepharospasm (inability to move the eyelids in certain ways), and wry neck (cervical dystonia).
In 2002, it was approved for improving and relaxing frown lines in the area (the glabella) between the eyes on the forehead and has been used successfully in more than over 11 million patients since that time, based on estimates from data supplied by the Allergan Corporation.
“We see it as a molecule that keeps on giving. As we understand it more, it gives us new ideas of how to use it,” says Dr. Mitchell F. Brin, a neurologist who is the chief scientific officer for Botox at Allergan, the drug’s maker. Dr. Brin of Allergan says Botox has a long safety track record — backed by 30 years of favorable research, studies on 11,000 people worldwide and 17 million treatments in the United States since 1994.
“That safety profile has enabled us to continue to explore the product in deeper parts of the body and in more novel areas,” Dr. Brin says. Allergan does not promote unapproved uses of the drug, he says.
Botulinum toxin injections usually begin working a few days after treatment. Depending on the problem being treated, the effect may last three months or longer. To maintain the effect, you will need regular follow-up injections.