Do Botox and Injectable Fillers Have Any Long-Term Benefits?

Q : I have heard that regular use of Botox and injectable fillers over years can reduce the need to do them so often. Is that true or just wishful thinking?

A: Recent research presented at plastic surgery meetings have indicated that such a ‘rumor’ may have some truth to it. A study out of Oregon looked at women between the ages of 30 and 50 who received Botox every four months for two years. After that time, the frequency of their injections could be adjusted down to every six months and still have sustained satisfying results.

The same observation has been seen with injectable fillers. If the treatments are done long enough, they seem to be needed less often. One possible explanation may be the filler’s ability to stimulate new collagen.

Is less Botox and fillers really needed if they are done long enough? One of the problems is assessing long-term effectiveness is that it is very subjective and not able to be quantified objectively. Can facial muscles be re-trained by long-term Botox?  Can injectable fillers create new collagen? Or are these apparent effects more of a function of the patient being able to tolerate a few wrinkles longer or less full lips or deeper nasolabial folds between injection sessions? The economics of regular injection treatments can certainly make patients space out their injection treatment intervals and still be satisfied.

It is tempting to want to believe that Botox and filler’s effects have some long-term benefits after they wear off…but it is far from a proven fact.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana