Benefits of Botox

Benefits of Botox

October 30, 2021

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What are the benefits of botox 

There are a number of benefits of Botox beyond the expected cosmetic results.  Of course we often think about botox when we starts to see forehead furrows, the “11’s” along the labella and crows feet.  However, there are a few other benefits that many people are pleasantly surprised to find.

  • Less headaches.  Many of my patients that start with Botox are surprised to find that they often experience less headaches. So much so that some will even find that they come in for follow up when their headaches return and not their wrinkles! Although Botox is a recognized treatment for migraines, there is a likely benefit for tension headaches as well.  Think about how much tension many of us hold in the forehead by contracting these muscles.  This can be released by Botox given the relaxation of the muscle.
  • Possilbe benefit with depression.  This study showed that comparing Botox to antidepressant medications for depression can yield similar outcomes.  I was not at all surprised by this.  This may be multifactorial.  However one of the most common groups of patients I have that seek Botox are patients that feel as though their facial features do not reflect how they feel. They often say that people ask them constantly if they are ok or feel like people think they look worried all the time.  Since facial rhytides or wrinkles almost “paste an expression” on our face, it is difficult for some to interpret facial cues in this background.  Botox releases these wrinkles so that our faces are free to express themselves again! Of course much of this outcome is guided by technique and experience of the injector.  The potential for a frozen face with Botox can occur with higher volumes injected.  It is worth seeking Board Certified Dermatologists for treatment as most of us were trained as a part of a residency programs and not by the industry.  
  • Less thickness or heaviness to the forehead.  The muscles in the forehead are like other muscles in the body- if you overuse them they do hypertrophy or thicken.  By using Botox, these muscles become less active and can then thin out a bit.  This makes the forehead less heavy or thickened in appearance.

What should we know before getting botox 
Always seek out experienced Board Certified Dermatologists and appreciate those that turn you down.  Not everyone is a candidate for Botox.  The muscles that compose our facial anatomy  are a series of bullies.  If you relax one, others may become more active which can affect outcomes.  Also recognize, especially for those with heavy eyelids, that sometimes we have forehead wrinkles because we are using our foreheads to keep our eyes open! If Botox is used, there is the potential for making the eyelids heavier.  Having an evaluation prior to treatment is important as these patients I can often identify and refer for blepharoplasty to address the eyelids first to avoid complications.  
Preventative Botox is a potential benefit for some but not all.  Those that have a high tendency towards the 11’s along the labella can likely benefit the most.  Although it’s safe and effective to start early, the reality is that it can be costly to figure this into your budget at an early age.  I say this as a mom and a dermatologist. Figuring botox into your budget is adding several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars into your annual budget.  The best preventative anti aging intervention early on is sunblock and retinol or prescription tretinoin.  Talk to your dermatologist openly and honestly about your concerns and consider either preventative skin care regimens or reduced frequency regimens of Botox to address the preventative component without going overboard.
Cons on botox 
Botox is a muscle relaxant.  The muscles in our forehead are a series of pullies. Recognizing from a physics perspective that the injector must have a deeper understanding of facial anatomy to give best outcomes is important.  Also recognizing that not every forehead is the same is essential. Each pattern of injection can vary somewhat based on targeting muscles that need to be relaxed for best outcomes.

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