Does Botox Treat Migraines and Wrinkles at the Same Time?

Can a doctor treat migraine headaches and forehead wrinkles at the same time when I get cosmetic botox injections? 

Doctor Answers 21

Botox for wrinkles and migraines works for me

I have been treating myself with Botox for many, many years to prevent ocular migraines.

When I get migraines, I get "ocular" migraines. This means I have vision problems, loss of vision, and shooting lights when I get a migraine. I can always tell when the Botox is wearing off because my migraines come back.

I treat many patients for migraines with Botox and in most people, it is beneficial.

There are different places to inject when treating for migraines, as opposed to treating for wrinkles, but you can kill two birds with one stone.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Botox can help certain migraines and will paralyze the...

Botox can help certain migraines and will paralyze the muscles which cause facial wrinkles.

Migraines which begin in the forehead or around the eyes respond to Botox the best. There is a sensory nerve which runs within a muscle deep to the eyebrow near the bridge of the nose. The theory is that muscle contraction irritates the nerve, which causes the migraines. Paralyzing the muscle prevents the nerve irritation and eliminates the cause of the migraines.

Unfortunately not every person will experience migraine relief as there are multiple causes of migraine but at least you still get the cosmetic benefits. I have many patients in my practice who return for migraine relief, not the cosmetic benefits.

When it works, this is one of the rare cases when you can have your cake and eat it too.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Botox and headaches

Headaches can have many origins including starting in nerves, muscle, and blood vessels.

Patients often note that their headaches are less frequent when they get Botox injections.

The injections for migraines are in areas where Botox is typically not used for wrinkle relaxation. If your primary goal is to treat the headaches then you must speak with a neurologist.

Pramit Malhotra, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Yes, this is true. Botox is a useful treatment for...

Yes, this is true. Botox is a useful treatment for migraines in some patients. However, the important thing to remember is that the precise location of injections is different when it is being used for migraines and when it is being used cosmetically to reduce wrinkles.

In my practice, some people who get tension headaches have reported to me that their tension headaches are reduced after they have Botox cosmetic injections.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Yes, for some migraines

Botox has been used for years to treat certain migraine trigger points, and there are thousands of patients that routinely use Botox for that reason alone.  It is most effective for migraine trigger points in three major areas:

1.  Above the central portion of the eyebrows

2.  In the temples

3.  At the back of the skull

However, Botox treatments are only temporary, and will wear off in 3-6 months.  If you a) have these trigger points and b) Botox works for you, then you may be a candidate for surgical decompression of those trigger points through hidden incisions in your hairline.  In 90% of people who have had this done, their migraines drastically improve.  About half of them are totally cured.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Hall

Jason J. Hall, MD, FACS
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Taking Care of Two Birds with One Stone - Botox for migraines and wrinkles

Hi Jeane,

Studies have found that patients treated with Botox have decreased frequency of their migraine headaches, as well as less severity if they do get the headache. By treating the brow muscles (corrugators) and adding a little Botox to the upper forehead, your wrinkles and headaches can be improved with the same treatment.

Good luck.

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Botox and Migraines

I am one of the first doctors who reported that Botox can be effective in the treatment of migraine headache and I am probably the best known for this in the world. Unfortunately, I am also the first ever to be sued for this (I did win in court).

While many patients who experience migraine headaches have reported improvement following Botox treatment for wrinkles, the specific injection pattern for Botox migraine treatment is quite different than what we use for wrinkle reduction. While you may notice some improvement of your migraine pain and severity following Botox for wrinkle reduction, I would strongly advise that the injection pattern for migraines is very specific and should be followed by your doctor.

Botox is used off-label for migraine treatment with good results.

Arnold W. Klein, MD (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Botox has more than one approved indication

The use of botulinum toxin (Botox®) for the treatment of migraine headache disorders has been publicized in both the lay press and the medical literature. This represents a novel and sometimes effective approach to treating this disorder, as opposed to other types of drugs. Botox® used in such treatments would constitute an off-label use of the product.

Allergan, the maker of Botox® has several approved indications for the product, both for functional disorders (Botox®) and cosmetic use (Botox® Cosmetic). If you are seeking treatment of migraine headaches with Botox®, you need to have a complete discussion with your physician regarding your medical history, including other conditions that could be producing headaches. Also, your health insurance may not cover the costs of this treatment.

Mark L. Jewell, MD
Eugene Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

BOTOX and migraines

BOTOX is approved for treating facial wrinkles as well as migraines. I have had many patients who are receiving cosmetic BOTOX who have noticed a reduction in the number and severity of migraines. 

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Botox and migraines

Despite what you read, Botox cannot cure migraines.

A migraine headache is due to a vascular spasm deep in your skull. It is not reachable by Botox. Botox causes temporary paralysis of the muscles it is injected into. In proper hands, it is very safe and works very, very well.

Botox can be used to treat some types of tension headaches by paralyzing the muscles that are unnaturally tight causing the headaches.

Robert Steely, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 55 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.