Botox Alternatives

Before turning to Botox, alternatives to the drug are often considered. This includes things such as chemical peels; dermabrasion; other injection treatments; and wrinkle creams, lotions, and serums. Each one of these alternatives has its advantages and disadvantages; some work as well as Botox injections, and others are only a short-term fix. These alternatives can also have side effects, such as redness or minor pain.

What Are Some Alternatives to Botox?

Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA, previously known as botulinum toxin type A) is a prescription medication approved to treat facial lines between the eyebrows, as well as crow's feet. While Botox is effective for cosmetic uses, some people choose to seek other alternatives for various reasons, such as potential Botox side effects, fear of needles, or the desire for non-prescription treatment. These alternatives include:
  • Dermatological procedures, such as skin peels
  • Other injection treatments
  • Creams, lotions, or serums.
(This article compares Botox alternatives for cosmetic purposes. Botox is also approved for various other medical uses not discussed in this article.)
Dermatological Procedures
Dermatological procedures are often used as alternatives to Botox or in combination with Botox. Often, these procedures work by "resurfacing" the skin, using chemical peels, dermabrasion, or lasers. A newer method called photorejuvenation is also available.
There are several different types of dermatological procedures, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Like Botox injections, these procedures often cause minor pain or discomfort. There may also be a recovery period, during which you may not want to appear in public due to redness or other side effects.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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