Everyone has heard of Botox. It has become one of the world’s most identifiable brand names, worshipped by celebrities and regular people alike. But while you’ve heard of Botox, you may not know that it has been around for decades, having been used to treat conditions such as eyelid spasms, TMJ issues, even migraines.
But everything changed in 2002. That was the year the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic use in the treatment of wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead. Since then, Botox injections have become the single most popular cosmetic treatment year after year all across the globe. Botox is now a celebrity of sorts on its own!
Why all the adulation? Botox works. It effectively turns back the clock on facial aging, particularly in the areas around the eyes and on the forehead, reducing or eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How does Botox work?
Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin type A, the bacteria that cause botulism. This sounds scary, and in its early days that botulism connection made people leery of using Botox. But as more and more information got out there, and as people started seeing the results, Botox took off.
The secret to Botox is that botulinum toxin. Decades ago scientists discovered that the neurotoxin, when injected in very small amounts into a muscle, temporarily paralyzes that muscle. This is important in the aesthetic world because certain wrinkles and creases on the face are caused by the repeated contractions of muscles. These are called dynamic wrinkles. Actions such as smiling, squinting, and frowning create dynamic wrinkles. So, when Botox is injected into a muscle forming a wrinkle, it blocks the message sent from the nerve to the brain telling the muscle to contract. Without any message, the muscle doesn’t contract, so the wrinkle above it either disappears or becomes far less noticeable. This continues for four to six months, at which time the body eventually absorbs the now-inert Botox, and the muscles start to contract once again, and the wrinkles return. At that point, you’ll need another session with Dr. Lipton to continue your results.
Does Botox work on all wrinkles?
In addition to the dynamic wrinkles described above, your body also forms “static” wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that can be seen at all times (in contrast to dynamic wrinkles that form when a muscle beneath the skin contracts), and Botox doesn’t have any effect on them. Static wrinkles are damage to the skin and are the result of sun damage and the passage of time.
Botox is very effective on those dynamic wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), forehead lines, and lines that form between the brows (the 11s). You can think of Botox for use on the expressive portion of the face, the upper third. If you frown or squint, you’ll feel the muscles in your upper face contract.
What occurs following my Botox session?
A Botox session takes just a few minutes. There is no downtime, although there may be some slight swelling and redness at the injection sites. Patients also need to avoid rubbing the injected areas for 12 hours, as that can cause the Botox to migrate to unwanted spots. Botox results don’t show themselves immediately; the botulinum toxin has to get busy paralyzing the muscle first. Results usually take from three to seven days to fully show themselves.
If you’re sick of your crow’s feet and the 11s between your brows, call Dr. Lipton at 972-420-0023 and ask about Botox.