Posted by: JJ | 2008-11-10

crow' s feet

Dear Doc
Which method would give better long term results: Botox or CO2 laser treatment? What are the pros and cons of the two methods? Which method would you recommend and why? Is the Botox just a temporary " fix"  or does relaxing the muscles aid in delaying the onset of additional wrinkles too? I' m 32 years old. Thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageAnti-ageing expert

Hi JJ, thank you for the question.

As a general rule Botox works extremely well for the crow’s feet however, its disadvantage is that one needs to repeat the treatment every 3 to 4 months. If injected by an experienced doctor, there are very few complications that should arise following Botox treatment around the eye area. Studies have demonstrated the long term benefits of using Botox including the delay of onset of wrinkles, and as an effective ‘anti-ageing’ tool with overall benefits to the skin. Possible complications include inadvertent diffusion of the injected Botox resulting in temporary paralysis of neighboring muscle groups. With incorrect placement (too low and therefore affecting the smile muscle, too close to the tear duct, etc.) one can also experience unwanted Botox effects. Worldwide this complication rate is seen in just less than 1% of all injections.

CO2 laser treatment is a very effective treatment for wrinkle removal and general skin rejuvenation, but the end result is dependent on the technology used and the operator using this technology. Possible side effects and complications include pigmentory changes (hyper or hypo pigmentation), scarring, and skin tone color changes in the treated areas, even with the newer fractional CO2 lasers. Downtime (swelling, scabbing, oozing, etc) can be expected to last between 5 to 10 days and sun avoidance is important following the treatment. Due to the skin tone change one may need to consider treating the whole face.

Both treatments are ‘temporary fixes’ as they will need to be repeated due to constant ageing and ongoing sun damage, albeit that the intervals will differ between them. An important difference between these two treatments is that with Botox when we smile the lines are softened or do not appear with smiling, while with laser these wrinkles will not soften when you are smiling as laser does not stop the muscle from functioning or the skin from folding in on itself.
My preference would be to consider Botox (especially at your age) however one would also need to make a financial decision regarding these two treatments.

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