We’ve all heard about Botox®, one of the commercially produced forms of botulinum toxin type A. In fact, of all the minimally invasive cosmetic procedures available, it is by far the most popular one being performed today. But just what is it, and how does it work?
Botulinum toxin can be used to treat wrinkles, such as those that often appear on your face. These include frown lines, crow’s feet, worry lines, and forehead furrows, among others. When we smile, frown, squint, and use other facial muscles again and again, it can eventually lead to wrinkling, probably the most common sign of aging. In addition to causing you to look older, they can also make you appear angry or tired when you’re not. Botox is another tool that your doctor can utilize to help restore the youthful appearance you’re looking for.
How Does Botox Work?
Botox interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses to the targeted muscles, and this stops the muscle from working for a period of time. When properly used at the correct dosage, Botox injections stop the muscle from contracting – it is these contractions that cause the facial wrinkles we mentioned.
The time within which we see results after the procedure will vary. Fine lines may disappear right away; with other, more established wrinkles, it may take several days or a week before the results are apparent.
The cosmetic injections will last from three to six months. The good news is that as the injections are continued over time, studies show that the duration of the benefits increase. As a result, additional injections are required less often as time goes on.
Most patients tolerate the treatments quite well. Fine gauge needles are used, and a local anesthetic can be applied prior to treatment if necessary.
One of the benefits of procedures such as Botox injections is that they do not limit your options. Specifically, you may choose to have Botox treatments to deal with a particular issue or issues. But you may also have concerns that require one or more additional procedures. For example, you may benefit from combining Botox injections with cosmetic fillers, a chemical peel, dermabrasion, or another facial cosmetic procedure.
If you have concerns about worry lines, crow’s feet, and similar wrinkles, talk to your doctor about whether Botox may be right for you.