BOTOX Cosmetic was recently approved by the FDA to treat crow’s feet, those small wrinkles at the corners of the eyes. Some of my BOTOX patients in the San Diego area reacted to this news with surprise because they knew the injections were already being used on that area of the face. At my dermatology practice and at the practices of board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons around the country, doctors have been using BOTOX for years to safely and effectively target wrinkles and fine lines in areas not approved by the FDA.
FDA approval means that after lots of research and clinical testing, that agency determines a product has been proven safe to use for a certain condition. Doctors routinely use products that are approved for treating one area to treat another. This is called off-label use, and it’s perfectly legal and very common. This has been the case with BOTOX, which was approved in 2002 to treat frown lines between the brows.
Doctors have found that, when used correctly, BOTOX is superior for targeting the vertical lines between the brows, frown lines, laugh lines, and even lines and wrinkles in the neck. BOTOX is also used off label to treat excessive sweating, migraines, and even an overactive bladder.
I think it’s important to state that the results of BOTOX injections, on or off label, really are dependent on the skill and expertise of the doctor who is administering you them. I recommend that you seek out board-certified dermatologists, because cosmetic and medical skincare is their specialty area and they thoroughly understand the underlying muscle structure of the face.