Wrinkle Reduction and Aging: How Does Botox Work?
Wrinkle reduction: it’s a concern on the minds of many people walking into a dermatology office. While there are many skin care products and treatments you can use to prevent fine lines and creases as well as diminish existing signs of aging, there’s nothing quite as effective as injectables. Botox, an FDA-cleared treatment, has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Here’s why.
What Is Botox?
Botox is an injectable involving the use of a prescription solution to block the nerve impulses responsible for wrinkles. The Botox solution utilizes a purified protein derived from the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. This active ingredient, when injected into the muscles around the wrinkle, can safely prevent the muscles from contracting. Once these muscles no longer contract – during smiling, frowning, concentrating, squinting, or making any other types of facial expressions – they no longer reinforce the crease in the skin.
While wrinkles are a natural effect of the aging process, they often increase in number and severity over time. Many people find that despite their best efforts – even using high-quality anti-aging skin care and receiving regular facials – they just can’t manage the increase in wrinkles. Some see these effects as early as their twenties, while others are in their late thirties or forties before trying injectables.
Botox injections target these wrinkles one at a time, meaning that multiple injections are used when treating multiple areas. Most commonly, Botox is administered on facial wrinkles, including frown lines in the forehead and the area between the eyes – known as glabellar lines. Other areas where Botox might be used are creases around the mouth and nose (known as “marionette lines”) or on the sides of the eyes (known as “crow’s feet”).
What Should I Expect During a Botox Treatment?
Now that you know Botox is FDA-approved and effective for wrinkle reduction, what can you expect when receiving a treatment? First, the procedure involves very little pain – a quick pinch of the needle at the site of injection. If you’re very sensitive to pain, the technician can give you a numbing cream. Botox is also a very quick procedure, usually taking no more than 20 minutes total. And you can expect to see results within the next few days, with increasing results over the course of a week or two post-injection.
While Botox injections are extremely effective, the treatment is not permanent. You’ll need to schedule injection appointments to “refresh” your Botox – usually between three to five months. Keep in mind this timeline could be longer or shorter depending on the severity of the wrinkle. Botox requires virtually no downtime, so besides avoiding rigorous exercise on the day you receive your injectable, you can return to your normal activities right away.
Rare side effects might include some bruising, swelling, and pain at the treatment site. You can take an OTC pain medication to alleviate this. Other extremely rare complications could include swelling, headache, drooping eyelids, dryness or excess moisture in the eyes, crooked smiles, or drooling. Be sure you work with a knowledgeable and experienced provider when receiving Botox to maximize your results and minimize your risks.
Contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates
Ready to give Botox a try? If you’re in Baton Rouge or the surrounding areas, contact Louisiana Dermatology Associates today for an appointment.