Wrinkle relaxers, such as BOTOX, Dysport and Xeomin, have transformed the facial rejuvenation market for those seeking wrinkle treatment without undergoing surgery. These products (known as neurotoxins) decrease the visual appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in areas on the face that show expression, such as the forehead and around the eyes. Once injected, the medication causes the underlying muscles to relax, which creates a smooth appearance on the surface. While each brand essentially does the same thing and produced a similar result, they work differently for different people. During the consultation, each product can be discussed so that the right one is chosen to meet your aesthetic goal.
What They Treat
- Forehead lines and wrinkles
- Vertical frown lines between the brows (glabella)
- Crow's feet
- Medical issues such as excessive sweating (known as hypodryphosis)
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- FDA approved in 2002
- Medication: Onobotulinum toxin A
- Expected results: On average, within 5-7 days
- FDA approved in 2009
- Medication: Abobotulinum toxin A
- Expected results: Results with this relaxer usually show the soonest, within 2-3 days
- FDA approved in 2010
- Medication: Incobotulinum toxin A
- Expected results: On average, within 7-10 days
Administering Wrinkle Relaxers
Wrinkle relaxers are medical-grade toxins derived through an FDA-approved and safe process that is administered through a syringe during an in-office appointment. During the appointment, which takes place in-office, typically within 30 minutes, the practitioner will mark the areas where the drug will be injected. The depth, length, quantity and location of wrinkles vary for each patient. Therefore, the injection treatment, including the dosage and injection location, is tailored during the procedure. The result is a localized reduction of the muscle activity in the injected area.
What to Expect
During this procedure, patients generally do not feel anything other than a small prick. Any discomfort is controlled with a cold compress. Immediately following a series of injections, there will be some mild swelling and redness at the injection sites. This will subside a few hours after the procedure. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately, but exercise should be avoided for a few hours. It is also recommended that patients keep their heads elevated for the first 8-10 hours. Results following a wrinkle relaxer treatment will not be immediate. Depending on the product used, the results will show themselves over the course of 2-10 days days and can last up to 3-4 months. The result is skin that appears smooth with a significant decrease in wrinkles and lines.
The cost for a wrinkle relaxer treatment will vary depending on how much of the medication is used (the number of units/syringes). Most practices charge $350 for one full syringe of product. A treatment session typically takes 1-3 syringes. Therefore, the cost can range between $350-$700 per session (or more). The cost is similar among all brands.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 2 Hours
- Average Procedure Time
- 30 Minutes
- Post-op Follow-up
- Not Applicable
- Procedure Recovery Location
Wrinkle Relaxer FAQ’s
Is BOTOX the Best?
All of the wrinkle relaxer treatments on the market today serve a specific purpose, and each do it well depending on the patient and their precise needs. With that said, BOTOX continues to be the gold standard wrinkle relaxer treatment and leads the market with more than 6.1 million BOTOX injections given in 2012. It’s common for practitioners to use more than one product in a session. For example, some patients react better to BOTOX to treat forehead lines, and Dysport to treat Crow’s feet.
Is it Safe?
Each wrinkle relaxer treatment on the market today, including BOTOX, Dysport and Xeomin, are all FDA approved and have a record of safety and effectiveness. Individuals will react slightly different to each drug and an experienced injector professional will understand which one to recommended and why. Individuals who receive injections by someone inexperienced run the added risk of bruising, over medicating and ultimately, obtaining an undesirable result.
Relaxer or Filler?
Injectable fillers such as Perlane, Restylane and Juvederm help decrease wrinkles by adding volume under the skin. This helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles on the surface, as well as add a plumper effect to hollow areas. A skilled practitioner will be able to determine if a filler material or a product like BOTOX would garner the best results. However, the latest rage today is the “liquid facelift”, which combines a blend of a filler and a relaxer, with other skin rejuvenation procedures, such as a chemical peel, to obtain beautiful results without having to undergo surgery.
Individuals who wish to soften and decrease facial lines and wrinkles may be candidates for a wrinkle relaxer treatment. The most common age to receive these types of injections is between 30-55 (and older). Some young adults, as early as in their late 20’s, will choose to receive treatment as a preventative measure versus a rejuvenation effort.
Wrinkle relaxers are not a permanent fix. Results will last between 3-4 months. It is very common for patients to return for their treatments every year, on schedule (with great excitement), so that they can continue to maintain their gorgeous results year-round.