Experts at Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery answer questions about cosmetic and surgical procedures.
Question: I’m beginning to notice the fine lines on my face are becoming more apparent. When is a good time to start using Botox? Are there other options that can help diminish wrinkles?
Answer: Botox or other injectables are a less invasive alternative to surgery that can temporarily smooth unwanted wrinkles and creases for a more youthful appearance.
When to start using Botox or injectable fillers is a personal decision. Botox is currently approved for people ages 18 to 65 to eliminate frown lines, forehead lines and crows feet for up to four months. Once you begin to notice permanent wrinkles such as frown lines or crows feet, injectables can help eliminate or keep them from becoming deeper.
Botox works by blocking nerve signals. It prevents muscles from contracting, causing wrinkles to relax and soften. The end result is diminished facial wrinkles. The effect of Botox lasts for about four months depending on the area treated and each individual’s response to treatment. As muscle activity begins to return, wrinkles gradually reappear. Most patients looking to maintain their results retreat with Botox every three to six months.
Fillers are another option used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore overall volume and fullness to the face. Unlike Botox, they work by “plumping” and smoothing lines, depressions or folds in the skin. Products such as Restylane®, Juvederm® and Voluma® contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that already exists in your body.
Filler treatments typically involve a series of tiny injections under the skin’s surface and take about 10 to 20 minutes. They are most commonly used to reduce wrinkles, mask acne scarring, add volume to cheeks or lips and decrease nasolabial lines (the skin folds that extend on either side of your nose to your mouth). Depending on the area treated and the product used, results can last from six months to a year or longer.