Year after year, BOTOX remains the most popular anti-aging treatment in the world. It’s no wonder why: It gives you the power to smooth away lines and wrinkles for months at a time with just a few quick injections. But what happens if you use BOTOX for years? Does repeating these treatments have any implications for your appearance or your health?
As you explore the possibilities of BOTOX here is what you need to know about its long-term effects.
When Should I Start BOTOX?
Getting BOTOX injections in your late 20s or early 30s—what is often called “preventative BOTOX”—can delay the onset of wrinkles and fine lines that develop over time as you change facial expressions. These lines, called expression lines or dynamic wrinkles, tend to emerge around the eyes and on the forehead. We’re seeing more and more patients in this age group who want to get a jump-start on preventing signs of aging with BOTOX injections.
Will BOTOX Weaken My Muscles Over Time?
BOTOX is a neurotoxin that works by interrupting the signals from your brain, telling certain muscles to contract. By injecting this product into specific areas (most commonly forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet), we prevent those muscles from contracting and allow the overlying wrinkles to relax and smooth out.
Because you’ll be moving those specific muscles less when they are under the effects of BOTOX, they may weaken to a very small degree over a long span of time. Many people actually see this side effect as a bonus: People who keep up with routine BOTOX appointments find their results last longer with regular use.
The same is true for Dysport® and other neurotoxins that work in the same way. (Curious about how BOTOX and Dysport differ? Learn all about it in this previous blog post.)
What Happens If I Stop BOTOX After Several Years?
If you stop BOTOX treatments after many years of regular injections, the only effect will be that your wrinkles will return, albeit a bit more slowly than if you had not been using BOTOX.
It’s true: Even after you stop, you will still look younger than you would have if you had never been injected. One study of twins found long-term BOTOX use led to fewer and less severe wrinkles in the long run, effectively slowing the aging process.
Should you decide to take a break from BOTOX, you can safely stop at any time and resume it at any time without adverse effects.
Is It Safe to Use BOTOX in the Long Term?
BOTOX is an FDA-approved, low-risk treatment with a great safety record. If you continue to work with an experienced, credentialed injector, it is unlikely you will experience any negative effects of long-term BOTOX use.
As you age over time, you may reach a point where other treatments may be beneficial either in place of or in addition to your routine BOTOX injections. When you maintain a strong relationship with your injector, they will also monitor your signs of aging and recommend other options when appropriate, such as dermal fillers or laser skin resurfacing.
If you have other questions about long-term BOTOX use or would like to learn more about getting started, please contact us online or call (208) 881-5351 (Idaho Falls, ID). We happily welcome BOTOX patients from Pocatello and throughout Idaho and Wyoming.