There is a new approved use for Botox Cosmetic. Beginning in September 2013, Botox officially received the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) seal of approval for treating crow’s feet. These are lines that form around the corners of your eyes caused by smiling, frowning, or squinting.
Botox has been used cosmetically to treat frown lines with the FDA’s approval since 2002. These are the lines that form between the eyebrows, also know as glabellar lines. Botox is delivered by intramuscular injection through a fine needle. Over the course of a week it relaxes lines or wrinkles caused by muscle movement. Both frown lines and crows feet can be treated at the same time.
Even though using Botox to treat crow’s feet was recently approved by the FDA, providers have used it “off-label” for years, meaning they have used it despite the lack of FDA approval. The FDA’s decision to extend its approval of Botox to treat crow’s feet came after a study conducted by Allergan Inc., the manufacturer of Botox. In the study, 833 adults randomly received either Botox or a placebo injection. The people who received Botox saw a greater reduction in crow’s feet than the placebo group.
Despite the FDA’s approval, it’s likely insurance companies still won’t extend coverage to cosmetic uses of Botox. However, insurance companies usually cover Botox injections for approved medical conditions such as blepharospasm, strabismus (when the eyes are misaligned), chronic migraines, and severe underarm sweating.
The bottom line is, whether you receive Botox injections for medical or cosmetic reasons, you can breathe easy knowing Botox is a safe, FDA-approved product.