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Botox

In most cases, the most common (and noticeable) signs of aging are fine lines and wrinkles that sometimes start to appear on your face as early as your 20s or 30s. However, while age is one of the factors that contribute to the severity of the issue, folds and wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices, collagen depletion and environmental effects. But were you aware that not all wrinkles are the same?

Active vs. Passive Wrinkles

Even though they may all look identical, there are actually two types of wrinkles on your face. Lines that form due to genetic predisposition or environmental effects are known as passive wrinkles. Naturally thin skin, dehydration, sun damage or repeated exposure to pollution – all of these and more contribute to the gradual breakdown of collagen and elastin in your skin, eventually leaving you with varying degrees of lines and wrinkles.

Repetitive muscle use in your face is the culprit behind active, or “dynamic” wrinkles. These types of lines appear where you (often unconsciously) use your facial muscles all day every day. When you concentrate, frown or look surprised, the glabellar muscles between your eyebrows or across your forehead contract, making your skin fold and furrow. Each time you squint, you activate the muscles around your eyes, resulting in crow’s feet. As the collagen and elastin supply in your skin weakens and decreases over time, these dynamic wrinkles continue to etch themselves deeper into your face, making you look perpetually tired or even angry. So besides remaining expressionless forever, what can you do?

Botox is not only one of the most popular anti-aging injectables available today, but it is also the oldest. It was first approved by the FDA in the 1960s to treat crossed eyes, and has since been used to treat several other medical conditions. The benefits of Botox for cosmetic use were discovered accidentally in the early 90s by an ophthalmologist. She noticed that her patients who were being treated for eye spasms with Botox experienced a bonus effect – a smoother forehead. As soon as word got out of Botox’s anti-wrinkle capabilities, its cosmetic use skyrocketed. The FDA approved it for cosmetic use in 2002, and Botox has continued to be the number one nonsurgical procedure performed in the U.S. for over eight years, with nearly two million people reaping the benefits of its anti-aging effects each year.

How Does Botox Work?

The clinical name for Botox is Botulinum toxin type A, and it is a purified protein derived from the naturally-occurring bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It’s a neurotoxin, designed to target the nervous system, so when minimal doses of Botox are injected into lines and wrinkles, the neurotoxin works to block the signaling process of the neurons (or neurotransmitters) that are responsible for activating your dynamic expressions.

While Botox is mostly known for its aesthetic uses, it is also FDA-approved to treat a wide range of conditions, from migraines to urinary incontinence to excessive sweating. It is a neuromodulator, which refers to something that interferes with the transmission of a nerve impulse. When used to reduce wrinkles, Botox uses botulinum toxin A to interfere with the communication between the nerve and the muscles of the forehead or around your eyes by preventing the release of acetylcholine. In normal conditions, acetylcholine is released by nerves to communicate with muscles, telling them when to contract. When injected into a wrinkle-producing muscle, Botox prevents the release of acetylcholine, effectively blocking communication between the nerve and the muscle. This results in temporary immobility, relaxing the muscles in the treatment area and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. With consistent use, Botox can actually train the muscles to stay relaxed, not only softening existing lines, but helping to prevent new ones from forming.

What to Expect from Your Botox Treatment

Botox is safe and convenient, and offers natural-looking results. At The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness, we perform all of our injectable treatments in the comfort of our office. When you come in for a consultation, one of our injectors will provide you with a professional assessment as well as a personalized treatment plan based on your goals.

Botox injections are virtually painless, so no anesthesia is required, and the treatment takes just minutes to complete. Your highly trained and experienced injector carefully plans and maps out your injection pattern according to your treatment plan and ensures that you understand your results and after-effects. Side effects, if any, are usually limited to minor discomfort at the injection sites, but these are mild and will resolve quickly.

There is no downtime or recovery required – in fact, you could come in for a treatment during your lunch hour, and return to work with no one knowing you underwent an aesthetic procedure. At The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness, we take great pride in our ability to leave you looking youthful and refreshed without looking “plastic” or “frozen.”

Botox Treatment Handout

Results of your Botox Treatment

It takes three to five days after your Botox treatment to see your full results, which typically last between four to six months. You will still be able to smile, frown or look animated as usual, any creases or wrinkles will appear much softer and less noticeable. To maintain your smoother, more youthful look, you will need to undergo consistent injections according to your treatment plan.

Whether you are just beginning to see signs of aging in your face, or are bothered by fine lines and wrinkles that make you look older than you feel, Botox may be the solution. Call The Clinic for Dermatology & Wellness today at 541.200.2777 to schedule a consultation, and learn how Botox can refresh and rejuvenate your appearance.