Botox as a preventative measure?

I know there aren't any studies yet that prove Botox works as a preventative measure, but logic suggests if you don't make the expressions the lines they won't form. I can't afford Botox every 4 months, so my plan has been getting it every 8 months. It's half the cost, and I figure it will still delay the onset of wrinkles, but my doctor insists I'm wasting my money if I don't get it every 4 months. I don't understand how spending half of the time not making that expression wouldn't help at all?

Doctor Answers 17

There is some evidence to suggest that people who get Botox continuously begin to need it less often.

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While it is better to get Botox continuously, every 3-4 months or whenever it begins to wear off, there is nothing wrong with getting it every 8 months. Your lines will still form whenever you are in a Botox free period, but if this doesn’t bother you, it’s fine. There is some evidence to suggest that people who get Botox continuously begin to need it less often, as the muscles are trained not to make expression and get weaker through lack of use, but it is not a guarantee.

San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Generally, yes.

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Many of our wrinkles are caused by the contraction of our muscles (for example forehead lines, smile lines or crows feet, frowning lines, lines around the lips). There is no doubt that by keeping those muscles relaxed with Botox, it will cut down significantly on the formation of those wrinkles. Once these wrinkles start forming, the use of Botox on a consistent basis (every 3 months) will allow a slow elimination of those wrinkles.

Normand Miller, MD
New Hampshire Vascular Surgeon

Botox as a preventative measure?

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Thank you for your question. Without an in person evaluation it is difficult to provide an accurate answer. As you have stated you are using Botox as a preventative. You may want to assess your individual results yourself. 


Regular maintenance Botox

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Thank you for your question.

There may not be any randomized controlled studies, but there is a large volume of emperical evidence from busy practitioners who regularly inject cosmetic Botox who see a difference in patients who get regular treatements verss those who get the 'occasional' injection.

These emperical observations suggest less grooving of the skin and also a shinier and younger looking skin ! 

Dr. Karamanoukian

Botox as a Preventative Maintenance

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Ideally you would want to repeat Botox every four to six months to have the best cosmetic results. The goal is to keep these muscles of facial expression at rest which cause wrinkles.  However, coming in every 8 months should definitely benefit you in preventing aging and your wrinkles.  Best, Dr. Green

Do what you can with what you have

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Botox definitely has preventative effects.  And you are right, the more you keep the muscle at rest the less the wrinkles will form.  That being said, getting treatments every 4 months and keeping the muscle at complete rest will have the best effects.  But if you can only afford treatments every 8 months, then some rest is better than none!

Botox as prevention

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Botox is most certainly used for prevention.  By relaxing the muscles on a regular basis, wrinkles will be delayed.  Wrinkles are formed for the repetitive motion of the underlying muscles.  Ideally Botox should be done every 3-4 months, but even if you do it once a year, its better than nothing.  

Good Luck

Botox as preventative treatmen

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Botox can definitely  significantly delay the appearance of some facial lines of expression, especially the frown lines.  There is no magic number of months between treatments. Some patients can go longer between treatments, depending on each individual patient's physiology.  Seek out an expert injector for an in person evaluation.

Botox prevents wrinkles

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Botox absolutely help prevents wrinkle formation.

Now, about your question of the timing. I do think 8 months gets you some relaxation, even if it could be better if you used it more frequently.  Concentrate on the wrinkles that bother you the most, I sometimes do not recommend treating the forehead and instead concentrate in the frown lines (the 11s) and the eye smile lines (crow's feet). Over time, you might find you frown less and require less doses.

Hope this helps!

Myriam Loyo, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Botox as a preventive measure

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Botox ONLY works as a preventive measure. Botox does not reverse the rhytids or wrinkles you already have, it keeps new ones from developing or the existing ones from worsening from repeated muscle contraction. There are plenty of "studies" supporting that.

Edwin Ishoo, MD
Cambridge Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.