Wrinkles are part of the natural aging process. There are plenty of causes, including exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, reduced production of skin oils, natural thinning of the skin and the loss of deep-layer body fat that comes with age. Sometimes the repeated facial expressions you make every day can contribute to lines and wrinkles around your eyes, forehead and lips. Many women, and a fair number of men, elect to treat their lip wrinkles with Botox.
Lip wrinkles, sometimes referred to as vertical lines, perioral lines or smoker’s lines, typically involve the upper lip. They are more common than lower lip wrinkles due in part to the strong muscles in this part of your face. Constantly using these muscle for everything from speaking to smiling to kissing to smoking can result in lines that range from fine to pronounced.
Botox is the common term for the brand-name product Botox Cosmetic, an injectable prescription medication derived from OnabotulinumtoxinA, or botulism toxin. Botox is used clinically to treat uncontrollable blinking of the eyelids, certain neurological movement disorders, visual alignment disorders, severe underarm sweating and other disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use for treating certain facial wrinkles in 2002. Botox injections have since become the most prevalent nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Botox is a nerve-impulse inhibitor. Small doses of the medication are injected directly into the muscles that affect your lips. Muscles contract in response to the release of a chemical compound called acetylcholine. Botox disrupts this process and prevents your muscles from contracting. As your muscles relax, the wrinkles in your lips recede. You can usually see results within a few days, but it may take up to a week before complete results are evident. Effects may last for up to four months.
Botox Cosmetic is available only by prescription and should only be administered by a qualified physician. The effects of Botox wear off over time, so repeated applications are necessary to maintain the reduction of lip wrinkles. Botox treatments are usually considered uncovered cosmetic procedures by most health insurance company. The cost for Botox injections is usually borne by the patient.
Botox Cosmetic is only intended for use by individuals who are over the age of 18. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that Botox may have life-threatening side effects, including exacerbating preexisting breathing or swallowing problems. The toxins may spread beyond the injection site, resulting in muscle weakness and loss of muscle control. It is not known whether Botox can pass through breast milk or if Botox has any harmful effect on unborn babies, but the manufacturer recommends thatwomen who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding avoid treatment with Botox.