Chances are you have heard all about Botox, the anti-aging injectable treatment made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. But not everyone knows enough about Botox or if it really the right choice for the issues they are trying to combat. Is it time for you to start getting Botox? Is there is a right time at all? The cosmetic and plastic surgery professionals here at Facial Aesthetic Concepts are ready to help you figure that out.
The first thing to know is that Botox is not strictly “anti-aging,” no matter what you may have heard. Botox injections correct signs of aging that are already there, such as crow’s feet wrinkles around the eyes, forehead furrows, lines around the mouth, such as frown lines, and also skin bands on the neck that can cause a sagging appearance.
Botox is an intramuscular injection (as opposed to a dermal filler). What that means is that a medical professional injects Botox directly into the muscles of the area you want to treat, such as between the eyebrows. The injection weakens or paralyzes the muscles there, which prevents them from being able to contract and create wrinkles and creases. This relaxes the look of aging skin and creates a more youthful appearance.
The look you achieve through Botox injections lasts four to six months on average — it is not a permanent solution. Over time, the muscles in the area treated will regain the ability to contract, which brings back lines and wrinkles. Once that happens, you can choose to get continued injections. In fact, repeated Botox treatments have been shown to make the muscles become more accustomed to being relaxed, which can make your results last longer.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wait until those signs of aging exist before you try Botox. In 2013, two well-respected dermatologists from Boston wrote an opinion piece for the prestigious medical journal JAMA Dermatology, a publication of the American Medical Association. In that piece, they introduced the idea Botox injections could be used not just for treatment, but also for prevention.
“Thoughtful” use of Botox injections prior to visible signs of aging, the doctors argue, can actually help prevent those troublesome lines and wrinkles from appearing in the first place. So the idea is that people can choose to use Botox in their doctors’ office in much the same way they would use skin care creams and treatments at home — as a way to prevent the effects of aging on the face.
The argument has validity. The doctors used a 2006 study published in the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (now known as JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery) to back up their claims. Two identical twin sisters took part in the 2006 study. One was given regular Botox injections in the forehead and the area above the nose; the other received no injections. And the results were very clear — “imprinted” lines did not show up in the treated twin, with the effects lasting an impressive seven months post-treatment.
Given those results, the study’s conclusion was very clear: “Long-term treatment with Botox can prevent the development of imprinted facial lines that are visible at rest. Botox treatment can also reduce crow’s feet.”
Call one of our three California offices today and make an appointment to talk about Botox — both as a treatment and as a preventative. We are here to answer your questions and help you figure if it’s your time to try Botox.