Botulinum toxin or Botox injection for the treatment of facial wrinkles is one of the most common aesthetic procedures done today. Treatment for forehead wrinkles, crows feet around the eyes and wrinkles over the middle eyebrows gives predictable results with few side effects. This is one of the procedures with the highest amount of patient satisfaction. Botulinum toxin has been used clinically for more than 20 years to treat a variety of medical condition.

Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is commercially available as Botox® or Dysport®. However, these injections are usually known by the public as ‘Botox injections’.

Doctors use it in small doses to treat conditions, including

  • Temporary smoothing of facial wrinkles and improving your appearance
  • Severe sweating under the arm and over the palm of the hands
  • Cervical dystonia – a neurological disorder that causes severe neck and shoulder muscle contractions
  • Blepharospasm – uncontrollable blinking
  • Strabismus – misaligned eyes
  • Chronic migraine
  • Overactive bladder

Wrinkles are part of the ageing process. Wrinkles caused by muscle contraction such as frown lines, forehead lines and crows’ feet, can be improved by Botox treatment. Plastic surgeon uses botox to treat wrinkles on the face and neck and also for treatment of excessive sweating or hyperhydrosis. The injections work by weakening or temporarily paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about four to six months, depending on what you are treating and the dose that you use.

Facial wrinkles treated with botox injections
Muscles of the face

The most common side effects are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. Rarely some patients may develop flu-like symptoms, headache, and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids. You should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


You may consider botulinum toxin injections for cosmetic reasons if you are developing lines and wrinkles on your face due to common facial movements.

Those who feel that their facial wrinkles are causing them to look aged and tired. Depending on your genetics, environment, nutritional status and daily activities, you can start to develop fine wrinkles in your late 20s to early 30s. If you are prone to having wrinkles because of an active facial expression you might consider getting botox injection as a preventative treatment.

Certain facial creases are cause by the natural depression of facial soft tissue, descend of facial skin and atrophy of the facial skeleton. These and deep facial wrinkles will not be treated by Botox injections. They require filler injections either with the patient’s own fat or one of he synthetic fillers available in the market.

If you are generally healthy person with positive attitude and realistic expectations, you will be a good candidate.


Patients who are considering botox treatment must inform their doctors if they are taking blood thinners or any non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications. These medications can cause excessive bruising. Allergic reactions to botox is very uncommon but can happen.

Botox is injected directly into the muscles that cause the wrinkles, using a very small insulin needle as such local or topical anaesthesia is usually unnecessary. Several injections are usually needed at specific sites, depending on the area treated. The patient will be able to resume normal activities almost immediately.

Botox usually takes effect 24-72 hours after injection, with maximum effect at about 1 to 2 weeks. Its effects generally last for approximately 3-4 months. When injected into the muscles that are responsible for expression wrinkles, it gives the face a more relaxed and smoother appearance. When a gradual fading of the results are noticed after a few months, you may return for a repeat treatment.