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Botox Cosmetic- How Does It Work on Wrinkles?

Really want to get rid of lines on the forehead and heard that botox cosmetic is recommended by doctors. why?

Doctor Answers 46

Botox Acts on Muscle Activity

Botox cosmetic, Dysport, and Xeomin are all forms of Botulinum Toxin Type A that act to minimize muscle activity in the lower central forehead, the upper forehead, and around the eyes.  These products prevent the nerves and muscles from talking for a period of about 3 months.  Hyper-dynamic forehead lines are a separate issue from fine lines and wrinkles, which are more age and/or sun related in their origin.

Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

How Botox works.

In spite of some of the advertising hype, Botox and its alternative, Dysport, only do one thing: they give a flaccid, temporary paralysis to the muscles they are injected into.  If the lines on your forehead are caused by the flexing action of the muscles, Botox will stop this flexing.  How much improvement in the forehead lines you get depends; here is why.  If your forehead skin is smooth when you are not raising your eyebrows, but has lines when you do raise your eyebrows, the Botox will paralysis  the muscles and your forehead will be smooth.  If, however, you have lines in your forehead when you are NOT raising your eyebrows and they are worse when you raise your eyebrows, the lines will get better but not disappear with the Botox.  Be sure your doctor checks your eyebrow position before treating you, as a Botoxed brow can cause some people to feel that their brow sits too low.

Video: Botox injections for forehead and frown lines

Watch as Dr. Renato Saltz, spokesperson for the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, administers Botox injections to smooth forehead and frown lines on a patient experiencing Botox Cosmetic treatment for the first time.

Narration by Marie Czenko Kuechel, consumer advocate and active participant on

Renato Saltz, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Botox mode of action

Thank you for your question. Botox can be used to soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles that deepen with expression. These include the horizontal lines of the forehead, the frown lines between brows and the smile lines (crows feet) on the sides of the eyes. They typically last 3-4 months. It works by relaxing the affected muscle by blocking the nerve's signals that tells the muscle to contract.
I would recommend that you visit with at board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist in your area to discuss your treatment options so they can be tailored to your concerns and goals.

How Does Botox Work for Wrinkles

Botox and its two competitors, Dysport and Xeomin, all work the same way.  These products work by temporarily relaxing the facial muscles which cause wrinkles.  Reducing muscle activity leads to a softening of lines and creases on the face.  The lines that respond the best to Botox are called dynamic lines. These are lines that are caused by muscle contraction or muscle activity.  An example would be vertical frown lines (the 11's) or horizontal forehead lines.  

Many people confuse Botox with fillers.  Fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane will actually fill in wrinkles or will reinflate hollow areas to stretch out wrinkles.  Botox does not fill in any wrinkles but instead targets the muscle activity which is the underlying cause of many facial wrinkles.

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Botox & Wrinkles

Botox is an FDA-approved injectable that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and dynamic wrinkles by causing them to relax and soften. These treatments work by blocking the action of unwanted dynamic wrinkles. Over time, this prevents the wrinkles from becoming deeper creases and therefore more pronounced. Most patients see improvement within several days of injection with Botox. The result will usually last about three to four months at which point the muscle action gradually returns and the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear.
Over time, however, and with repeated injections, the lines and wrinkles will become less severe as the muscles are trained to relax.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Botox smooths out wrinkles by relaxing the muscles

Good question. Botox is the top-rated facial cosmetic, non-surgical treatment around the world and is unquestionably an amazing procedure to help combat the aging process. Proper Botox injection techniques by an expert injector should result in a younger, smoother appearance while preserving a natural amount of facial expression.

When Botox (Botulinum Toxin Type A) is injected into the muscle, it effectively stops the nerve signals that are sent to the muscles. The muscles are prevented from contracting, and this results in muscle relaxation. The fine lines and wrinkles then smooth out and not have the opportunity to form deeper ridges and creases on the face.

Cory Torgerson
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Botox Helps to Relax Pesky Muscles

Botox, Xeomin, and other neuromodulators work by causing a temporary paralysis to muscles that create wrinkles when they pull.  This allows the skin in these effected areas to essentially relax, creating the appearance of fewer lines and wrinkles.  For deeply formed wrinkles, our office also recommends working on the skin's surface and collagen/elastin with laser and/or other treatments.

How Botox Works

Some of my patients think botox works by filling in your wrinkles. It actually does not. Botox works by relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkle formation. When the muscles are relaxed, the wrinkles slowly improve and soften over weeks to months. The more consistently these muscles are kept relaxed, the more the lines will fade.

Ava Shamban, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

How Botox Works on Forehead Wrinkles

The transverse wrinkles of your forehead are dynamic and caused by the contraction of your forehead muscles (frontalis muscle mainly). Botox will stop the action of the muscles causing dynamic wrinkling for 3-4 months.  Botox or Dysport is best for younger patients, though Thermi-RF is a longer lasting solution.For middle age or older individuals a Brow Lift will give more permanent solutions

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.