At this point, everybody’s heard of Botox. It’s a household name. This incredibly popular injectable treatment is known to be a magic eraser for a wide variety of age lines and facial wrinkles. You may know what Botox can do, but do you know the science behind it?
Botox is a neuromodulator. Neuromodulators are specific chemical formulations that affect the neurological pathways. They temporarily inhibit the nerve signals that are used in muscle contractions. When these signals are cut off, the responsive muscles do not contract and instead remain in a relaxed state.
A relaxed muscle is incapable of a full range of motion. Muscle impairment here is not complete, only partial. This is ideal for contracted muscles that are stiff and need help to return to their original state.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with wrinkles and fine lines. Contracted muscles are actually the reason behind the formation of age lines. As a result of repeated facial movements like laughing and chewing, the muscles of the face find it harder and harder to return to their original positions and instead stay contracted.
Contracted muscles affect the look of the overlying skin, creating wrinkles. With Botox, these muscles can finally relax, allowing the skin to relax and the age lines to fade away. This results in a smoother and younger look for the skin.
Botox is an effective option for minimally invasive treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s used to treat horizontal forehead lines, crow’s feet, vertical lines between the brows, chin wrinkles, vertical neck bands, and more.
The treatment only takes around 15 minutes to complete. The treatment areas are marked and then small doses of Botox are injected into the areas carefully. No downtime is necessary afterwards, so you can return to your daily schedule immediately.
The initial effects of Botox are noticed instantly; within a minute of injecting, there is partial muscle paralysis as a result of blocked movement. The full results of the treatment will be apparent in around a week to ten days.
Botox causes muscle paralysis that is only temporary, so a few months after the Botox injection, muscles regain their activity and the treatment must be repeated. Patients who have enjoyed younger-looking skin free of fine lines don’t usually want to go back to the way they looked. Some people have seen that with repeated use of Botox, wrinkles are lighter when they reappear.
Traditionally, Botox was deemed necessary only after the onset of visible wrinkles. Now, some doctors recommend proactive use of Botox as a preventive measure. Supporters of proactive Botox use say that if the treatment is started before the lines become etched into the skin, the wrinkles can be reversed more easily. Wrinkles can’t be completely prevented, but Botox can make a difference.
Take the Next Step
Now that you’ve learned more about Botox, it’s time to take the next step: a consultation with Dr. Lu-Jean Feng, an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Contact us today for your appointment.