Ever wondered how botox really works?
Botulinum toxin is a sterile protein complex that temporarily relaxes the facial muscles to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as prevent new lines from forming.
Skin aging can be divided into intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
Extrinsic skin aging is due to external factors, primarily cumulative UV light exposure (dermatoheliosis) and to a lesser extent smoking.
Intrinsic aging has classically been thought to be non preventable due to factors such as epidermal thinning and a 1% loss of dermal collagen per year.
Different types of wrinkles require different forms of treatment or prevention depending on the various causes. The reason why wrinkles appear as we age is complicated since there are as many as five different subtypes of wrinkles.
Deeper wrinkles are due to extrinsic aging of photodamaged skin.
Fine wrinkles or glyphic wrinkles are the most common type of wrinkles and are due to focal thinning and intrinsic aging.
Dynamic wrinkles are produced by repeated creasing of the skin during facial expression (eg. forehead, smile lines and crow’s feet) when you laugh, frown or talk.
These wrinkles may evolve into permanent static wrinkles over time. Botulinum toxin may effectively treat or prevent these dynamic wrinkles by reducing or eliminating the cause before they progress to static wrinkles.
Botulinum toxin is injected in small amounts into specific facial muscles and bind to the nerve endings supplying the muscle to prevent nerve impulses from travelling to the muscle. This results in temporarily reducing, eliminating or avoiding new skin creasing by relaxing the specific muscle.
The reduction in wrinkles gradually occurs several days after treatment. Ideally a subtle natural youthful look is achieved with less wrinkles. Over elimination of wrinkles is never desired as it gives a “plastic” and artificial look to the face.
At the end of 3-6 months, full muscle movement returns and treatment may be repeated as desired. Repeated maintenance may require less botulinum toxin as the wrinkles improve.