One of the first signs of aging in many people is small lines and wrinkles on the face. These wrinkles often form around the eyes. Botox is an injectable drug that causes the muscles around the injection site to relax that relaxes the surrounding skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Types of Wrinkles
As people age, they typically develop two types of wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles and fine lines.
Dynamic wrinkles are often the first types of wrinkles to appear. These wrinkles appear over time from repetitive facial muscle movements when you smile, frown, laugh, cry, or make other facial expressions. Since dynamic wrinkles are related to the movement of facial muscles, Botox is an effective treatment to minimize their appearance.
The other type of wrinkle, often called fine lines, happens over time as the collagen in the skin starts to thin. Collagen loss happens to everyone over time, but sun damage speeds the process up considerably. Since these lines and wrinkles aren't related to facial muscle movement, Botox typically does little to reduce their appearance.
How Botox Can Help
Botox injections contain Botulinum toxin type A, which relaxes and weakens muscles. When the drug is injected below the skin, it begins to relax the facial muscles that lead to dynamic wrinkles.
Many people first develop creases, lines, and wrinkles around their eyes. Botox is particularly effective for crow's feet — the fine lines and wrinkles around the corners of your eyes. The drug also helps minimize frown lines between the eyebrows, sometimes called 11 lines.
Botox injections are also helpful for people who have wrinkles in their brow areas or drooping eyebrows. For these patients, Botox acts like a subtle, temporary brow lift to give the face a more youthful appearance.
Some doctors use Botox to treat wrinkles or bags under the eyes, but studies on the effects and results of Botox in this area are limited, so other treatments are often best for signs of aging in the under-eye area.
Results and Maintenance
One reason many patients turn to Botox to reduce wrinkles is that Botox doesn't require any downtime. Patients can return to their normal work and activities immediately after a Botox injection. Botox results don't take long to appear either; most patients notice results within a week while some notice results within a few days. The results from Botox aren't permanent, however. Most people who use Botox to reduce lines and wrinkles around their eyes need to get injections every four to six months to maintain their results.
Talk to your doctor about your health history and any medications you take if you're considering Botox treatment. If you're not a good candidate for Botox, your doctor may be able to suggest other anti-aging treatments to improve your appearance.