Study Shows Botox Lasts 6 Months

MakenzieR on 5 Jul 2011 at 3:00pm

With over 2 million procedures performed in 2010, Botox certainly seems like America's "quick fix" for wrinkles. But although it is less invasive than a surgical procedure, one of the well-noted drawbacks is that you must continue to get injections every 3-4 months to maintain results. New research shows this frequency may drop with time.

As reported by Medical News Today: "Patients receiving Botox Cosmetic treatments can reduce wrinkles with half as many sessions after 20 months, according to research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University's Casey Eye Institute."

Fifty women ages 30-50 were given regular injections over a two-year period. Focus was on the glabellar rhytids, or "the 11s." Aka those lines your kids point out when you furrow your brow. 

"We found that after a patient receives Botox Cosmetic injections every four months for two years, the frequency of treatments can be changed to six months with comparable wrinkle-reducing results and high patient satisfaction," said Portland oculoplastic surgeon and head of the study Dr. Roger Dailey. "Patients who are unwilling to undergo Botox treatments every three months indefinitely because of cost, convenience or other concerns may reconsider if they could achieve similar results with two to three treatments per year." 

botox before and after photosRequired frequency and expense of Botox treatments are popular topics in the RealSelf forums. It's possible these findings will encourage those who couldn't afford (or handle the pain of) traditional upkeep to reconsider the procedure. 

Dr. Dailey noted one other likely-to-be-celebrated finding from the study: Botox prevented the formation of dynamic wrinkles. 

"Patients who begin receiving Botox between their 30s and 50s are able to prevent dynamic wrinkles from forming and eliminate existing wrinkles," said Dailey. "Observations during our subjects' final visits also suggest that further wrinkle prevention could be achieved with continued treatment beyond two years." 

Score one for the "Yays" in the debate of using the injectable to prevent wrinkles. 

Botox numbers based on ASAPS 2010 data.
Photo credit: Dr. Grant Stevens (not result of study)


Comments (1)

Botox and Dysport (and other similar products) work by paralyzing specific muscles responsible for creating wrinkles. If a person isn't USING a muscle, it will atrophy and get weaker... so it isn't surprising that the first few times it's used the muscles will be stronger and results won't last as long.

After a few treatments, the muscles will be weaker, and thus the paralyzing effect will often last longer. However, results will always wear off with time: a person never gets to the point where the muscle simply stops working. Also, OVERUSE can cause the body to build antibodies against the paralyzing agent.

Yes, start EARLY for the preventative aspect. But go to a trusted professional who will keep track of your patterns of use and guide you to make the best choices medically. Avoid the urge to be driven entirely by price and go place to place. Find a professional that you trust and develop a rapport... it's worthwhile.

~ Dr. Andy
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