BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines and wrinklesfor a short period of time (temporary).
While Botox was the first in this class of drugs to be approved by the FDA, newer products such as Xeomin are also available. Each product is a little different, particularly when it comes to dosage units, so they aren’t interchangeable.
Botulinum toxin injections block certain chemical signals from nerves, mostly signals that cause muscles to contract. The most common use of these injections is to temporarily relax the facial muscles that underlie and cause wrinkles, such as:
- Frown lines between the eyebrows
- Crow’s-feet, the lines that fan out from the corners of the eyes
- Forehead furrows, the horizontal lines that form when you raise your eyebrows
In addition to these cosmetic procedures, which simply improve your appearance, botulinum toxin injections have also been used to treat other medical such as:
- Cervical dystonia. In this painful condition, your neck muscles contract involuntarily causing your head to twist or turn into an uncomfortable position.
- Hyperhidrosis. In this condition, excessive sweating occurs even when the temperature isn’t hot and you’re not exercising. In some people, the sweat literally drips off their hands, feet and armpits.
- Chronic migraine. If you experience migraines more than 15 days a month, botulinum toxin injections may help reduce headache frequency.
Botox injections are relatively safe when performed by an experienced doctor. The most common side effects include swelling or bruising at the injection site, headache or flu-like symptoms. If the injections aren’t placed correctly, the medication may spread into adjacent tissues and cause problems such as:
- Eyelid droop
- Cockeyed eyebrows
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- Crooked smile
- Dry eye or excessive tearing