The US Food and Drug Administration announced this week its approval of Botox Cosmetic for smoothing moderate to severe forehead wrinkles.
Injectable cosmetics have become a fast-growing trend in recent decades, with lip fillers the current star of the show. But Botox, short for botulinum toxin injections, remains on top of the list. In 2016 alone, 7 million injections were given, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Botox Cosmetic is already approved for use in treating crow’s feet and glabellar lines – the fine lines that appear between the eyebrows. Botox Cosmetic is different from just “Botox,” which is used to treat conditions such as sweaty armpits or migraines.
This FDA approval makes Botox Cosmetic the only injection of its kind that has the green light for three facial uses, states Allergan, the manufacturer behind the procedure.
Anna Avaliani, a dermatologist and cosmetic and laser skin-care specialist based in New York City, tells Allure how this cosmetic injection works. “It works by relaxing muscle movement so you can’t raise your forehead muscle and therefore cannot form any lines,” she says.
The new indication will not only help soften the appearance of the lines but it will also help them from becoming deeper. The key is to start early and be consistent. The forehead area is one of the most commonly requested area in my practice.
But just because the FDA gave its stamp of approval does not mean people should rush out and start getting their foreheads injected, Avaliani cautions. Due diligence is very important. “I am very cautious who I choose to inject there. Detailed consultation is always required as it may result in droopy or uneven eyebrows, and may cause a heavy sensation feeling, if not done correctly,” she says.
An in-depth consultation with a reputable doctor should always take place before any invasive procedure, even for FDA-approved treatments such as Botox or lip fillers.