Yvonne Pierpont, M.D.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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It seems that everywhere you look, clinics and spas are offering Botox injections to eliminate facial wrinkles. However, it is important to understand what Botox can and, more importantly, cannot do. If you were a carpenter with only a hammer in your tool belt, then everything would look like a nail. The same is true for Botox. Just because a clinic or spa offers Botox injections does not mean it is right treatment for all of your facial wrinkles.
There are two different types of facial wrinkles — dynamic and static — and each should be treated differently.
Dynamic wrinkles are caused by muscle movement, such as those when you smile, laugh or squint. Common dynamic wrinkles include crow’s feet around your eyes and lines on your forehead. Botox uses various forms of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze or relax muscle activity and is a good option for dynamic wrinkles. It can smooth out wrinkles and restore a more youthful appearance.
Static wrinkles are caused by a loss of elasticity and collagen in your skin, or damage caused by the sun or smoking. Your skin becomes thinner and drier, and the silhouette of your face changes with age due to volume loss. Some providers may recommend Botox for static wrinkles, but fillers are much more effective. Fillers lift the skin, smooth out lines and wrinkles, restore volume loss and give you a fresher appearance. Common fillers including hyaluronic acid (Juvederm) are particularly suited for fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth. For many people, a combination of Botox and fillers will produce the best results.
Botox and fillers must be used only under a doctor's care. It's important that injections be placed precisely in order to avoid side effects. If you are considering these treatments to improve your appearance, ask for a referral from your primary care doctor or look for a doctor who has experience in administering Botox and filler treatments. A skilled and properly certified doctor will review your goals and help you determine which options best suit your needs and health.
Plastic surgeons specialize in a wide variety of treatments to help patients look, feel, and function better. Read our "What is plastic surgery?" blog to learn more about how they can work closely with you to help you achieve your goals.