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Botulinum toxin therapy: Overview

Before treatment with botulinum toxin
Before treatment: This woman disliked her deep frown lines.
Also called botulinum rejuvenation

Brand names: Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport®, MYOBLOC®, and XEOMIN® 

When you look in the mirror, do you see deep frown lines? These lines bother many people.  

To diminish these lines, many choose botulinum toxin therapy. Patients like that they can return to most everyday activities immediately after the procedure. They like that most people see results within 3 to 7 days.

A dermatologist can perform the treatment during a single office visit. The improvements last about 3 to 4 months — and sometimes longer. 

Patient after botulinum toxin treatment
After treatment: Relaxing certain facial muscles softened this woman's frown lines.
Uses: Dermatologists use botulinum toxin therapy to diminish signs of aging and to treat a medical condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Botulinum toxin therapy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following dermatologic conditions:

  • Frown lines between the eyebrows.

  • Crow's feet.

  • Excessive sweating in the underarms when treatment applied to the skin does not work well enough.

Insurance coverage: This varies with insurance plans. In general, you can expect:

  • Signs of aging are not covered.

  • Excessive sweating may be covered, at least partly. You should contact your insurance company to find out what your policy covers.

 Related AAD resources

Images used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Ascher B, Zakine B, et al. “A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of efficacy and safety of 3 doses of botulinum toxin A in the treatment of glabellar lines.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51:223-233.