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Years of squinting can cause fine lines and wrinkles to develop under the eye area, adding years to your face and making you appear tired. Botox, an injectable treatment made from botulinum toxin, can temporarily eliminate those lines, giving skin a younger, fresher appearance. According to Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein, Botox is a relatively safe way to diminish the appearance of under-eye wrinkles when administered by a doctor or trained medical professional.
Used to treat everything from migraine headaches to excessive sweating to muscle spasms and wrinkles, Botox works by blocking the nerve response at the injection site, causing temporary paralysis in the muscles. When injected into the under-eye area, Botox temporarily eliminates fine lines and wrinkles by paralyzing the muscles you use to squint 1. The effects last anywhere from two to four months, depending on the individual and the amount of product used, according to the website dermanetwork.org The effect may last longer with each subsequent treatment as the targeted muscles weaken due to lack of use 3.
Common Side Effects
The Long-Term Effects of Botox
The most common side effects of Botox include bruising at the site of injection, droopiness in the eyelid or in the corner of the eye, headache, fatigue and dry mouth. While rare, there is always the danger that Botox can spread beyond the injection site and cause a more serious adverse reaction. In order to avoid this, the Mayo Clinic advises that you avoid rubbing the affected area following treatment.
To treat under-eye wrinkles, a doctor will inject between 1 and 3 cc's of Botox diluted with saline into the muscle underneath your eye. While you may experience mild to moderate discomfort during the injection, you should be able to resume normal activities immediately following treatment. Botox can take anywhere from seven to14 days to take full effect, though you may notice a difference in your under-eye area in as little as a few days.
Droopy Eyelids After Botox
According to Newport Beach dermatologist Dr. Grace Liu, doctors should inject only a small amount of Botox in the under-eye area to treat wrinkles. Too much Botox can cause the lower eyelid to droop in a temporary but visible way. Dr. Liu also warns that Botox may not be a good option for people with significant fat under the eye, as injections can cause the fat to bulge and appear more prominent 1.
- According to Newport Beach dermatologist Dr. Grace Liu, doctors should inject only a small amount of Botox in the under-eye area to treat wrinkles.
- Liu also warns that Botox may not be a good option for people with significant fat under the eye, as injections can cause the fat to bulge and appear more prominent 1.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the FDA warns that, while rare, some people may experience serious side effects following treatment with Botox. Difficulty breathing, weakness in the muscles, problems swallowing, double vision, speech difficulties, constipation, loss of bladder control and loss of voice can all occur. While these problems occur more frequently in people who seek treatment for muscle problems than for people who use Botox for cosmetic purposes, they can occur in anyone. If you receive a Botox injection and experience any of these difficulties, it is important to consult a doctor immediately.
- According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the FDA warns that, while rare, some people may experience serious side effects following treatment with Botox.
- While these problems occur more frequently in people who seek treatment for muscle problems than for people who use Botox for cosmetic purposes, they can occur in anyone.
The Long-Term Effects of Botox
Droopy Eyelids After Botox
The Negative Side Effects of Botox Injections
How to Tighten Loose Skin on the Eyelids
What Causes Wrinkles Between the Eyebrows?
What Are Periorbital Wrinkles?
Dermatologist Removal of Dark Circles Around the Eye
What Are the Treatments for Reducing Facial Fat?
About Electrical Muscle Stimulation for Skin Rejuvenation
Restylane Side Effects
- Real Self: Can Botox Be Injected Under the Eye?
- USA Today: Botox Treatments: Youth in a Syringe?
- Dermanetwork: How Long Does Botox Last?
- Mayo Clinic: Botox: What You Can Expect
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Learn more about Botox, Dysport & Xeomin.
- Walker TJ, Dayan SH. Comparison and overview of currently available neurotoxins. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(2):31–39.
- Rivers JK, Bertucci V, Mcgillivray W, et al. Subject satisfaction with onabotulinumtoxinA treatment of glabellar and lateral canthal lines using a new patient-reported outcome measure. Dermatol Surg. 2015;41(8):950-9. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000000424
Tess Miller has been a freelance writer since 2002. Her work has appeared in "The Front Range Review" and "Memoirs INK." She has worked in the nonprofit sector as a grant writer, fundraiser and literacy advocate. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in health and human services from the University of Massachusetts.