How Does Botox Work

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Each year millions of women and men across the US get botox injections in pursuit of a more youthful appearance, so chances are you know at least one person that has gotten botox.  But have you ever wondered how botox works?

Wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes are often the first sign of facial aging, and they can make you look tired and older than you are.  Botox is used to reduce the appearance of these wrinkles and give the face a softer, more youthful appearance.

botox

What Exactly Is Botox?

Botox is a trademark name for botulinum toxin A, which is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.    This toxin can lead to serious effects in large quantities and is known to cause botulism.  However, botox is injected in extremely small dilute amounts when used for cosmetic purposes, and is therefore very safe, but it must only be administered by a qualified, experienced injector.  

Botox Treats Dynamic Wrinkles

Botox smooths dynamic wrinkles that are formed by the repeated contraction of the underlying facial muscles.   The most common dynamic wrinkles are crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead lines.  Botox is not an injectable filler, so it cannot treat wrinkles caused by loss of facial volume.

How Does Botox work

Whenever you frown, laugh, squint or make any other facial expression, the underlying muscles contract, and over time wrinkles and furrows develop in the skin.  The muscles contract in response to signals sent from the nerves.

When botox is injected directly into specific facial muscles beneath the skin, it blocks the chemical messenger the nerves normally send to the muscles.  Since a signal is not transmitted from the nerves the injected muscles aren’t able to contract, so they eventually relax.  As the muscles relax the nearby wrinkles soften and become less visible.   Botox also slows the onset of future dynamic wrinkles.

People often think that botox numbs the face and prevents any physical sensation, but this is not true, it only reduces muscle movement.  Also, patients are still able to make facial expressions, but the area where botox was injected will be noticeably smoother.

Botox Provides Temporary Results

Botox is a temporary treatment and the effects gradually fade after 3-6 months, as the main protein in botox starts to break down at this time.   The muscles will therefore be able to move again and wrinkles will reappear.  

First-time botox users may notice that their results wear off sooner than expected, but botox often lasts longer with repeated use because the facial muscles become conditioned to the drug.    

How Is Botox Treatment Done

Botox is a simple procedure that takes about 10 minutes, and requires no anesthesia.  An ultrafine needle is used to inject botox into the targeted facial muscles.  The number of injections required will depend on the severity of the wrinkles being treated.

Patients are typically advised not to rub or massage the area for at least 24 hours after treatment.  

Is There Any Downtime

Botox is a completely non-surgical treatment, so there is no downtime.

What Results Can You Expect?

The effects of botox are usually seen about 3-7 days after treatment, but improvements may continue for up to 2 weeks.

When botox is injected in the right areas using the correct dosage the face should look smooth, and natural facial expressions should be possible.  A frozen or fixed appearance after botox treatment is usually a telltale sign that too much botox was injected.

Are There Any Side-effects

Common side-effects associated with botox cosmetic include bruising and swelling at the injection site, but these usually go away within a few days.  More serious side-effects can occur with botox, but these are very rare.

Benefits Of Botox

Botox is a quick, minimally invasive treatment that is quite affordable and accessible.  Since the treatment takes just a few minutes to complete, it can be easily worked into any skincare routine.  Also, botox can be combined with dermal fillers for even better facial rejuvenation results.

Choosing Your Botox Injector

If you are thinking about getting botox, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced certified medical professional.  There have been cases in which patients have experienced less than desirable results with botox, because the drug was not injected in the right area. 

That’s why it is so important to choose a reputable physician that understands facial muscle anatomy and has the expertise needed to administer botox safely and effectively.

Would you like to learn more about botox cosmetic?  Search our directory to find a practice in your area.

If you are in the San Antonio, TX area, The Face and Body Place is our featured practice.   At The Face and Body Place, botox injectable treatment is performed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kimberly Finder. You can reach Dr. Finder at www.kimberlyfindermd.com or by calling (210) 879-4809.