What Are the Alternatives to Botox®?

Article Details
  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 16 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Botox®, an injectable toxin typically used to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles, is often considered one of the easiest ways to see dramatic improvements in one’s skin; however, there are other options. Hydroxy acids and retinol, which are usually included in topical skin treatments, can have similar anti-aging effects when used on a regular basis. Other comparable alternatives to Botox® are injectable fillers, which help to plump up the skin and, therefore, minimize even the deepest wrinkles, and plastic surgery, which can provide permanent results. This drug can also be used to decrease underarm sweating in prevent migraines, although there are other options for these as well.

Products containing hydroxy acids are sold over-the-counter and in prescription form, depending on the product’s strength level. Treatments containing these acids are considered by many dermatologists to be highly effective in removing the layer of dead skin that cannot be removed with standard exfoliation. This can potentially cause new skin growth as well as minimize the appearance of wrinkles, making these products one of the easiest at-home alternatives to Botox®.


Retinol, which is a form of vitamin A, is an essential nutrient for the growth and maintenance of the skin, and products containing it are available in prescription and non-prescription strengths. When used on a regular basis, products containing retinol can promote the skin’s production of collagen, filling out existing wrinkles and preventing the appearance of new ones. Although these alternatives to Botox® are not as fast-acting, they can provide visible results.

While Botox® paralyzes the muscles underneath the skin, forcing them to relax and therefore minimizing the wrinkles above them, injectable fillers, one of the most common alternatives to Botox®, actually fill in the wrinkle without doing anything to the muscle itself. The fillers are injected into the area underneath the wrinkle, plumping it up and smoothing out the skin. There is a wide variety of fillers available on the market, most of which provide immediate results that can last for several months. Despite this, most are eventually absorbed by the body, although there are some that can last for longer periods.

One of the most dramatic alternatives to Botox® is plastic surgery. Doctors can take portions of the skin on the face and stretch it out, permanently smoothing out the wrinkles as well as correcting any sagging, which is common as a person ages. This can be done as a full face lift or only in certain areas, such as the eyes, eyebrows, or neck. Although these procedures are considered alternatives to Botox®, they tend to come with a longer list of dangers and side effects and should always be performed by a highly-experienced plastic surgeon.

Although this drug is best-known for treating wrinkles, it can also decrease sweating in the underarm area and prevent migraines in those that experience severe headaches for at least 15 days a month. Other options to treat underarm sweating include prescription-strength antiperspirants and iontophoresis, a gentle electric shock treatment that can temporarily reduce severe perspiration. For migraines, there are several oral medications that can help in place of using Botox®.



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