Botox is a neuromodulator that is used to reduce the cosmetic appearance of wrinkles in addition to many applications for medical disorders. Within cosmetic medicine, it addresses dynamic wrinkles, those which appear as a result of underlying muscle movement. It works by decreasing the release of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that stimulates muscle contraction. Botox results in a temporary weakening effect of muscles at the injection sites. Patients commonly ask whether Botox for wrinkle prevention is an effective treatment.
Does Botox prevent wrinkles?
The good news about Botox is that when injections are started early, it may prevent wrinkles from becoming deeper and more established at rest. There are two types of wrinkles, those which appear only in association with muscle movement (“dynamic wrinkles”) vs. those present at rest (“static wrinkles”). As facial aging progresses, dynamic wrinkles eventually lead to the formation of static lines, which become more pronounced over time. If Botox injections are started early, they may delay signs of facial aging by preventing wrinkles from becoming static and deeper set. Patients often start undergoing Botox injections in their 20s or early 30s for this reason.
What are common sites of Botox for wrinkle prevention?
The most common sites are the forehead, glabellar, and crows’ feet regions. The glabellar region, so-called 11 lines, is often of greatest aesthetic concern. Patients often present with static wrinkles at this site and question whether Botox may improve the appearance. Unfortunately once wrinkles become static, Botox may soften the appearance but likely will not completely eliminate the static wrinkles entirely. A combination of Botox and hyaluronic acid filler may be beneficial in these cases, both to weaken the underlying muscle movement and then to plump up the residual depression with the filler.
When to start Botox for wrinkle prevention?
This answer will vary between patients given differences in facial aging and other risk factors, including sun exposure, genetics, and smoking history. Botox when started in the 20s or early 30s may be effective for wrinkle prevention. Regular sunscreen and avoidance of smoking is also recommended given other risk factors for accelerated facial aging.
What is the upkeep of Botox for wrinkle prevention?
Botox must be injected routinely to be effective for wrinkle prevention. It generally takes effect within 4-5 days with peak effect at two weeks. The effects gradually wear off over 3-6 months post-injections. To be effective for wrinkle prevention, Botox injections should be repeated routinely once the effects have resolved to prevent dynamic wrinkles from becoming established at rest.
Please contact us to schedule a consultation with female plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Power, to discuss Botox injections. All injections are performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon at our clinic.