The Surprising Benefits of Botox

Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are all used to counter wrinkles. They’re a purified form of botulinum toxin A, meaning there’s no botulism risk when used properly. They work by blocking the nerves that contract muscles, softening the appearance of wrinkles.

Benefits and Side Effects

Botox is most effective on wrinkles that haven’t quite set — “dynamic” wrinkles that appear while you’re moving your face, such as when you frown. “If you don’t move the muscle too much, you won’t form the wrinkle,” says Columbia University dermatologist Monica Halem, MD. She considers Botox preventive.

If you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, the FDA recommends that you talk to your doctor before starting Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin.

Side effects are possible: headaches, bruising, pain at the site of injection, and, in fewer than 1% of cases, drooping eyelids or eyebrows that return to their natural position within a few months.

Go easy. Ask your doctor for a more natural, expressive look. Your doctor can adjust the dose accordingly.

Don’t party on. Spas and parties are fun, but not for injections. These wrinkle treatment should only be done by a doctor who is board-certified in dermatology or plastic surgery.

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