Botox: The White Knight in the War on Wrinkles

Jen Hayes, MD|November 19, 2015

Botox_main Botox is our strongest weapon for those unwanted wrinkles you dislike the most.  Years and years of facial expressions – both good (smiles) and bad (frowns) – leave lines etched into our skin. The deeper these wrinkles become, the harder they are to treat. Eventually, these wrinkles become permanently etched into your skin. No one wants that, right? Fortunately, Botox works to weaken the muscles of facial expression and not only lessen the appearance of wrinkles immediately, but also prevent them from becoming more deeply and permanently etched into your face. Let’s dig in a little deeper and explain all the ins and outs of this powerful weapon in fighting wrinkles. What is Botox? The Botox we use at Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Physicians is called “onabotulinumtoxinA.”  This product works on the nerve endings that tell muscles to contract. The muscles then relax, thus preventing the muscular contraction that leads to these “dynamic wrinkles.” This is how it prevents wrinkles that occur from repeated facial movements.    Where can Botox be used? The most common area that we use Botox is in the forehead muscles. This works to iron out frown lines, including those angry-looking “11s” (that can make a face look intense or even angry) in the center of the forehead, as well as horizontal lines in the upper part of the forehead. That being said, Botox can be used in many areas of the face, including around the eyes, in the upper lip for “smoker lines,” under the nose for people with a “gummy smile,” and many other areas! When should I start using Botox? A lot of patients ask this question, but the answer is completely up to you. One good rule of thumb to follow is to use Botox when the lines in your face start to bother you!  I’ve seen people use it as early as their 20’s. Some people just have stronger muscles and facial expressions that lead to lines in the forehead and around the eyes at an early age and want to address it as soon as they can. In a very small percentage of patients (about 1%), Botox can become less effective over time. Since Botox is a protein, your body can develop antibodies to the toxin and prevent it from working. But, understand that this is more common in people who use very high doses of Botox and wait less than 3 months between treatments. Since Botox lasts anywhere from 3-4 months, we don’t recommend getting treatments more frequently than that. What are the side effects of Botox? Like any other drug, Botox can have side effects. The most common side effect is bruising because we are injecting a needle into the skin which can traumatize fine blood vessels. You may feel also slightly sore in the area that we inject for a couple of days, but both the bruising and soreness are usually minimal. It should be noted that Botox is not to be used in people with neuromuscular disorders or in people who are allergic to eggs since Botox includes a protein called albumin. We also don’t recommend getting Botox while pregnant. Another uncommon side effect is a mild eyelid droop that can go away after a couple of weeks and that is due to relaxation of the muscle above the eye. What should I expect after I get Botox? Immediately after your treatment, you should avoid lying flat or massaging the treatment area for at least a few hours.  This prevents the Botox from moving to places we don’t want it to and relaxing muscles we were not aiming to relax. But after that, you may resume regular activities. The results from your Botox treatment can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to take effect. You may have some muscles that respond to Botox sooner than others so it’s important to be patient and try to wait the full 2 weeks before you get a Botox “touch up” to adjust any areas that may need more Botox.  Overall, most patients love Botox – they like the look of their face with relaxed facial muscles, and they like the feel of the relaxation as well. Botox is a great way to soften lines on the face to give yourself a more youthful appearance. For more information on how you can get this look or to schedule your consultation, call us today! Whether you are ready for Botox treatments now or not, be sure your skin care routine is fighting wrinkles too. Are you using broad spectrum sunscreen daily? This is the number one anti-aging skin care step on the planet! We recommend trusted mineral zinc oxide sunscreen for all our patients, 365 days a year. Our top products are Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream for dry skin, MDSolar Sciences Mattifying SPF Cream for oily skin and Citrix Sunscreen for all skin types. collage 1You also want to use one of the three ingredients proven to renew collagen too. Choices include professional levels of Glycolic Acid, Vitamin C and a retinoid such as retinol or tretinoin (prescription). Know that "professional levels" are required to get any real results from these ingredients. Check out our Glycolic Acid Skin Care Kits, our Retinol Night Cream, our Vitamin C Serum and our full Antioxidant Kit. To cover all your bases, you can use the Antioxidant kit during the day, and Glycolic Acid Cream or Retinol Serum at night to get intensive support for your battle against wrinkles. collage 2 HayesDr. Hayes - Board Certified Dermatologist

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