What Is Botox Used For?
This widely-used injectable can temporarily reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In many cases, treatment can eliminate these concerns, especially in popularly treated places like the forehead and near the eyes. Results develop quickly, within three to five days, and can subtly but visibly restore youth to the face.
Known as a temporary filler, this injectable is derived from bacteria and, as such, stops the passage of messages from nerves to muscles that cause the latter to contract. The muscles then remain immobile, and dynamic wrinkles cannot appear. You’ll still be able to move your face, but targeted application will temporarily “freeze” the small group of muscles responsible for showing lines.
A Note About Wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles develop over time as a result of repeated muscle contractions. Daily facial movements, like smiling and laughing, force the overlying skin to bunch together. This can eventually lead to the appearance of lines. Dynamic wrinkles become more visible as the skin’s supportive structure weakens, an event that happens naturally with age. The areas most susceptible include:
- Between the eyebrows
- The top of the nose
- Corners of the eyes
- Tear troughs under the eyes
- Around the mouth
Static wrinkles, on the other hand, are those that show on the face even when we don’t move our muscles. They look etched in the skin and are the result of genetics, sun damage, poor nutrition, smoking, and extended dynamic wrinkling. Folds, yet another category of wrinkles, occur with age as fat and underlying tissues slide down the face and/or lose their firm structure. Of these three variations, Botox works best on dynamic wrinkles.
How Does It Work?
This injection arrives in powder form and gets diluted with saline. The use of saline turns it into an injectable and also effectively eliminates any toxic capabilities. Although made from botulinum toxin type A, treatment is completely safe. This is owed to the dilution, but also to the minute doses in which Botox is administered.
Once injected, the serum travels through the dermis and into the specified muscle. This is where knowledge is crucial, and we ensure all members of our staff are well-trained in facial anatomy, injection technique, and variables like skin depth and facial structure. Within the muscle, the serum invades nerve cells and emits an enzyme that stops movement.
The Injectable’s Specific Activity
Specifically, the enzyme adheres to SNAREs, sites that help facilitate messages between nerves and muscle cells. When SNAREs are blocked, nerves lose the ability to release chemical signals that cause muscle contractions. It stands to reason, then, that paralysis ensues.
This injectable does not stop the firing in your brain that continues to communicate with your nerves. But it does block the nerve-to-muscle synergy. No longer able to contract, muscles relax and the overlying skin softens. This stops wrinkles from appearing and, in a prophylactic effect, prevents additional lines from forming. It also keeps those that have already developed from deepening.
Thanks to its formulation, Botox stays where it’s injected. This allows us to treat only select muscles and motor nerves. If injected in the forehead, the serum will not travel to your chin. Such precision allows the rest of your face to continue moving in an uninhibited manner. Unlike cartoonish TV characterizations, you’ll still be able to chew, laugh, smile, frown, and emote in all of your routine ways.
You Won’t Feel Numb
When we speak about blocking nerves, it’s common to think that doing so will stop your sense of feeling. But the body contains two different types of nerves: those that move muscles (motor nerves), and those that produce feeling (sensory nerves). Treatment only targets motor nerves so that you’ll continue to feel as you always have. There’s no numbing sensation, even when you directly touch the treatment site.
Everything You Need to Know
This treatment is all about your relationship with the mirror. When you like what you see, you feel better as a whole. Your confidence soars, your personal relationships improve, and even the way you handle stress changes.
But addressing the early signs of aging is about more than aesthetics. The image you present to the world says much about how you see yourself. Maintaining an air of youthfulness suggests self-respect; it sends the message that you are strong, energetic, and pleased with where you are in life. Your face can also reflect your health, and smooth, clear skin lets others know that you feel as vibrant as you look.
You Can Start Treatment at Almost Any Age
With all of this talk about health and aging, you’re probably wondering when the right time is to start treatment. You don’t have to be a specific age for this injectable. Many patients seek treatment as they start to see lines forming in their skin, which can happen at any time. Treating these earlier, rather than later, is a great idea. This keeps the lines from getting deeper, and becoming static, and allows you to retain your youthful appearance for longer.
Bruising Is Not Likely
Bruising after this injectable is very uncommon, but misinformation opens the door for some patients to think otherwise. Those at the greatest risk are usually on blood thinners or routinely drink alcohol. But most patients see no changes to the injection site, other than smoother and softer skin.
In fact, side effects with this therapy are extremely rare. Many treatments cause swelling, redness, and tenderness. But this injectable, administered with a very fine needle, poses much less risk. If you’re still worried about bruising, we recommend you avoid the following about a week before treatment:
- Vitamin E
- Fish oil
We Can Treat More Than Wrinkles
Have you yet heard of the Botox brow lift? It achieves an effect very similar to the surgical procedure that raises your brow by manually lifting muscles and subcutaneous tissues. The difference is this injectable, far less invasive, helps define brows and deliver a wider eye area – simply with strategic injections. Results are subtle but definitely more youthful.
We achieve these effects by targeting muscles that make the brows look like they’re sagging. When relaxed, these muscles immediately look lifted. The arch then floats upwards, making eyes look more awake and brows look more sculpted. And a series of well-placed injections is usually far preferable to the surgery and recovery time required with a full facelift.
Results Are Temporary
We’ve previously mentioned the word temporary a few times, but here, we’ll delve a little deeper into what you can reasonably expect from treatment. Results commonly last between three and six months. The effects of Botox wear away with time, and as muscles are again free to move, wrinkles once more start to develop.
The body is designed to overcome obstacles, and it will perceive this injectable – known as a neurotoxin – as just that. In response, new nerve receptors grow so impulses can again transmit between nerves and muscles. You therefore need maintenance treatments to keep your results.
Sessions Are Quick
Many patients incorporate routine appointments into their overall beauty regimen, and because we can administer this injectable quickly, sessions don’t interfere with daily life. Depending on your treatment site or sites, you can be in and out of our office in under 30 minutes.
Ways to Maintain Your Results
Because this treatment works so effectively, many patients want to extend their results for as long as possible. Keep in mind that the longevity of your results will depend on many factors, including:
- How quickly your body processes proteins
- The treatment site
- The dosage
- Your body’s natural healing processes
The serum fades more quickly in treatment sites with thinner skin tissues, such as near the eyes. Also, those muscles you move more frequently will process the protein more quickly. Finally, external aggressors like UV rays will help break down the serum at a more rapid speed. But you can take a few small yet important steps to squeeze more time between your sessions.
Protect Your Skin
If you haven’t yet developed a habit of of wearing sunscreen every day, now is the time. UV light exposure is the most damaging pollutant we encounter when it comes to skin health. These rays cause inflammation at the cellular level, which harms skin and will decrease the lifespan of your treatment. If you’re going outside, wear sunscreen and reapply often.
But the sun isn’t the only damaging entity we encounter. Thanks to technology, and our obsession with it, blue light emitted by computer screens, tablets, and phones can also harm the skin. It, too, causes low-level inflammation. Your best bet is to use a sunscreen with a blue light filter. This attribute will be listed on the label.
Moderate Your Workouts
It’s widely believed that continual, high-intensity workouts can process this injectable more quickly. And when you think about it, this theory makes sense. Exercise revs up your metabolism, which can also impact the way you process treatment. While we don’t recommend you give up on hard-core training altogether, a happy medium is probably the best way to keep your body active, boost your mood, and enjoy long-lasting treatment results.
A happy medium, however, means different things to different people. We therefore recommend you mix-up hot yoga, sprinting, and marathon training with low-impact exercises. This balance will help ensure your results don’t fade more quickly than they normally would.
Check Your Skincare Routine
Watching what you place on your skin will also help extend your results. Products that contain collagen can help bolster skin’s strength, making it less likely to fold during muscle movements. Serums that contain retinol or collagen-boosting peptides can likewise be beneficial. Also look for products that contain growth factors, as they support skin’s underlying support matrix to, again, deter from the development of wrinkles and fine lines.
Keeping skin hydrated is another key factor in maintaining a smooth, plump canvas. Slather on a moisturizer every time you wash, ideally, twice daily. An antioxidant serum can keep skin protected, and those with vitamin C are especially beneficial. This nutrient safeguards against free radical damage, including that caused by UV rays.
Do You Need Another Reason?
More than 1 million people go for Botox treatments every year, and the explanation why is simple: this tried and true injectable works. It’s also versatile, allowing you to pair it with other treatments, like dermal fillers, to smooth and contour your face in a more complete way. If you’re ready, make your move today. Call Zenith Health & Aesthetics in Memphis, TN today to schedule your appointment.