There are several wrinkle treatment options out there, from topical creams to injectables. Many treatments are designed to help after wrinkles have already set in, but what about preventing wrinkles in the first place?
As a preventative wrinkle treatment, Botox stands out among cosmetic injectables.
Preventative Botox Wrinkle Treatment
To understand how Botox works preventatively, it’s important to know how Botox works in general.
The Science behind Botox
Botox injectables rely on a neurotoxin as their main ingredient. This neurotoxin, botulinum toxin type A, is a protein that prevents the release of certain neurotransmitters. By preventing this release, the neurotoxin causes muscle paralysis.
Botulinum toxin type A is well-studied and has been used by medical practitioners for half a century. Providers use Botox to help with everything from muscle spasms to hyperhidrosis (excess sweating).
When used for cosmetic injectables, botulinum toxin type A paralyzes the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles.
Wrinkles on Your Skin
There are two main categories of wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles, which are caused by facial expressions, and wrinkles caused by the inevitable pull of gravity.
Every time you make an expression with your face, your skin moves along with your expressive muscles. As soon as you return to a neutral expression, your skin also bounces back to where it was.
This is thanks to the presence of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are elements in your skin that enable it to be thick, healthy, pliable, and plump. As you age, your body produces less and less of these important skin nutrients. This is what leads to your skin not being able to bounce back like it used to.
Once your skin becomes thinner and saggier, fine lines and wrinkles start to set in. Some of these wrinkles are the result of the gravitational pull on your skin, while others are from habitual expressions. These are what are known as dynamic wrinkles.
The main types of dynamic wrinkles include:
- Frown lines (also known as number 11 lines or glabellar lines)
- Forehead lines
- Crow’s feet
- Mouth lines
Frown lines are the vertical lines between your eyebrows. These lines are caused by the glabellar complex, which consists of a variety of medial brow depressors.
Frown lines typically show themselves when you furrow your brow, whether from concentration, frustration, or anger. The problem with frown lines is, once they settle into your skin, they can make you look permanently angry.
Forehead lines are the horizontal lines that run across your forehead. These lines make an appearance when you raise your eyebrows. Forehead lines also have a tendency to make you appear older than you actually are.
Crow’s feet are the small lines at the corners of your eyes. They become visible when you laugh or smile.
Mouth lines can be any of the dynamic wrinkles around your mouth. These lines show up from the various expressions your mouth makes, but they can also be caused by everyday actions like sipping through a straw.
How Botox Treats Dynamic Wrinkles
Because dynamic wrinkles are caused by muscular expressions, and Botox paralyzes muscles, Botox is an excellent wrinkle prevention treatment.
When injected into the muscles, Botox freezes them without diminishing the natural fluidity of your expressions.
Botox allows you to still be expressive and natural-looking. The injectables lend your face a smoother and more youthful appearance overall.
Why Preventative Botox?
The rationale behind preventative Botox is that if you start receiving Botox treatments while your face still has a good amount of collagen and elastin, then dynamic wrinkles are less likely to settle into your skin.
Botox is FDA-approved for cosmetic treatments in patients as young as 18. However, in general, we recommend our patients start preventative Botox treatment in their mid-20s.
Getting preventative Botox treatments can help reduce the need for more Botox in the future, as well.
What Happens During a Botox Appointment?
Your preventative Botox journey will start with a consultation in our office. During this consultation, our team will evaluate the current condition of your skin.
We will have you make a series of expressions that allow us to see where you might be prone to developing wrinkles. This evaluation helps determine where you will receive Botox treatment and how many units of injection you’ll need.
The appointment itself will only take about 20 minutes. In general, we have patients in and out of our office within an hour.
Botox can take one or two weeks before you start noticing results.
This is because the neurotoxin needs time to communicate with your body and do its work. Generally, patients start seeing results after around seven days and continue to enjoy their full results for several weeks.
After about three or four months, your body absorbs the biodegradable neurotoxin into itself, which is why you’ll need to schedule maintenance treatments.
However, the good news is that if you stay on a consistent schedule of treatments, you’re more likely not to need a lot of Botox in the future, as your muscles start to get used to moving a little less. This can help you avoid making new wrinkles.
Why Legacy Plastic Surgery?
When your Botox treatment is done properly by providers trained in muscular anatomy, you can rest assured that you’ll be virtually free of wrinkles while still looking and feeling natural.
To learn more about our Botox injectables and to get started with treatment in Exton, PA, contact Legacy Plastic Surgery today.