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Botox is a prescription medication that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows and at the corner of the eyes, called the crow’s feet. It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles which in turn reduces muscle activity that causes persistent lines to form between the brow and at the corner of the eyes.
The results of injecting the frown and/or laugh lines can be seen within 3-4 days. There will be a softening in the appearance of these lines and this softening look may continue to improve for up to a month.
Visible results may last up to four months; however, results may vary. For the first year of injections it is recommended to re-inject the areas at 3-4 months. This frequency seems to make the muscles atrophy so that after this first year, injections results may last up to 5-6 months.
The procedure only takes about 15 minutes. A numbing gel or ice may be applied prior to injection to help decrease discomfort from the injection itself.
Side effects of Botox injections include discomfort, infection (very rare), inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding or bruising.
It is important to not apply any pressure to the area injected as this may push the product into an undesirable area, such as the upper eyelid, making the eyelid droop temporarily for 3-4 months.
The usual cost for Botox is approximately $200 to $240 for between the brow (frown line) and $200 to $240 for around the eyes (laugh lines or crow’s feet).
Botox can also be used for the small vertical wrinkles of the upper and lower lips, but must be used with great care. It is also a valuable technique for raising the corner of the mouth. Often Botox is used with other injectables for even better and more dramatic results.