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Education Library: BOTOX® Cosmetics

Introduction

Botox Cosmetic is used by both men and women for vanishing frown lines without surgery or downtime. Botox is an injected prescription medication that temporarily improves the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). Approximately 11.8 million Botox Cosmetic procedures have been performed since its FDA approval in 2002.

Causes

Your skin, like the rest of your body, naturally ages over time. The rate and degree of skin aging depends on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors are controlled by hormone levels, nutrients, and inherited genes that control the natural aging process. For example, with age, the skin begins to lose its supportive collagen, fat, and elasticity. This loss contributes to the formation of wrinkles. With age, new skin cells are created at a slower rate, and dead skin cells do not shed as quickly, leading to rough, dry skin. Extrinsic factors are the contributing conditions outside of your genetics that intensify the aging process. The greatest extrinsic factor is sun and artificial tanning exposure. Other extrinsic factors include smoking, facial expressions, and the position of your face on your pillow while you sleep.

Diagnosis

During the initial consultation with your healthcare professional, your concerns and expectations will be discussed. Your skin will be examined and overall health reviewed. You may be asked to make over-exaggerated facial expressions to see the extent of your facial lines. It is common for "Before" photos to be taken for your records. Some facilities may have computer equipment that can simulate a representation of how Botox may help you.

Treatment

No anesthesia is necessary for Botox injections. Your doctor may numb the area with a cold pack or local anesthetic. You may experience minimal brief discomfort during the injections. Your doctor will inject Botox into a few places in the muscles between the brows. Botox administration is a very short in-office procedure, lasting about only 10 minutes. Many men and women choose to schedule Botox appointments during their lunch hours. No downtime is required following Botox injections. You can return to your regular activities. Your doctor will provide you with specific after care instructions.

How Botox Works

Botox works to block nerve signals to the injected muscles, which reduces the muscle movements that cause frown line wrinkles.

Continuing Botox Treatment

Regular treatment schedules with Botox Cosmetics can help maintain your new, more youthful appearance. Botox injections can be received every 3 to 4 months. If treatment is discontinued, the moderate to severe frown lines will return between the eyebrows and appear as they did before Botox Cosmetic treatment.

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