The Latest on Botox

Botox injections on the way out

What is Botox?

Botox Cosmetic, a form of the botulinum toxin, is a drug that, when injected, stops muscles from contracting.
What are the uses of Botox?
Though Botox Cosmetic has been in use for years to treat facial tics and other neurological problems, such as spasticity, only recently has it been FDA-approved for use as a cosmetic drug in the United States. In fact, new uses for Botox in non-cosmetic surgery continue to be found. In August of 2011, Botox Cosmetic was FDA-approved for use to stop involuntary bladder contractions and incontinence, and only in October, 2011 was it approved for treatment of chronic migraine symptoms. Botox is currently approved only for injection into the glabella area, the muscles in the middle part of the eyebrows you use when you look angry. It is also injected in an “off-label” manner into crow’s feet wrinkles on either side of the eyes and forehead lines, or so-called “worry lines.”

Things to know about botulinum toxin Injections

  • Small needles are used
  • The procedure takes 1-2 minutes
  • Takes about 7-10 days to go back to work
  • Place ice on injection area for an hour afterward
  • Exercise the muscle for an hour after injection
  • No hot showers or exercise the day of injection
  • Effects last 3-4 months
The new Botox
In October, 2011, a team of researchers provided their first results of a formulation of Botox that does not need to be injected. Rather, a cream containing the botulinum toxin is applied to the skin and absorbed into the area, with effects lasting 3 months.
The lack of needles will make the application and use of this drug much easier and frequent, and by the same token much more dangerous. Hold on to your seat, as patients and untrained pseudo-medical practitioners start to experiment with Botox creams on all parts of the body, with unknown and probably disastrous effects.
Botox is a safe drug when injected:

  • into the correct areas
  • in the correct amounts
  • using correct techniques
  • by fully trained and experienced injectors

Botox Cosmetic is still a drug that is capable of killing you! It does stop muscle contractions, after all, and we have lots of muscle contractions that keep us alive—heart, diaphragm, throat muscles, etc.

So before you make a move to stop a movement, ask your cosmetic plastic surgeon.

Morad Tavallali, M.D., FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon


  • Kat says:

    Hi, I just want to ask a couple of questions on this. are there major price differences between cosmetic cream botox and surgical botox? also, which is really better, having the injections or the cream? I read this article about the risks and side effects of botox usage, , and I wonder if those side effects also apply when using a cream? any info on this would be much appreciated 🙂

    • Hi and thanks for your comment. Unfortunately there is no information I have regarding the costs of the new Botox cream. The cream is still in research phase and not currently available for public use. I assume the risks will be the same as Botox injections and maybe more so as it may drift to unwanted areas.

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