What Is Botox?
You’ve likely heard of this treatment before. It is a neurotoxin that temporarily relaxes the muscle to give skin a smoother, more youthful appearance.
By relaxing the muscle, Botox ceases the movement that causes lines and wrinkles to appear. You’ll still be able to smile, frown, and make all of the other facial expressions you normally do. This treatment simply prevents the creasing of skin that makes lines visible. Even better, you’ll look exactly like yourself, but younger and more refreshed.
What Is It Used for?
Botox is approved for use around the eyes, where laugh lines or crow’s feet commonly appear, and in the space between your eyebrows – in the center and directly above your nose. This area is known as the glabellar, and creases that develop here are known as glabellar lines. Some people also call them 11 lines, because the pair of short, vertical creases resemble the number 11 when visible.
In speaking of numbers, some people develop the 1 line, which is the presence of one vertical glabellar line as opposed to two. There’s little scientific reason to explain why some people develop two lines and others develop one in this area. It’s likely a combination of factors: genetics, skincare routines, reactions to environmental toxins, and age.
The Beauty Quest
While aging is a privilege, bearing visible signs of wrinkles is not. Even worse, lines in the glabellar region can show prematurely – patients as early as in their 20s can see the development of these and other wrinkles. These creases can create a look of constant anger or concentration, depending on the lines’ exact pattern.
In the forehead, long horizontal lines, or forehead furrows, can develop that strip skin of its naturally plump appearance. Because the forehead is a prominent feature for most people, and because the muscles there move so often in relation to facial expressions, reducing or minimizing lines can revitalize your entire appearance.
How Does It Work?
This injectable medicine is measured in units. It has a heavier molecular weight and denser concentration than some similar therapies. These qualities make it ideal for injecting into areas that require precision: for instance, crow’s feet that surround the eyes need precise application because the area is small and the skin is delicate.
During your therapy, our staff will apply a numbing agent to the area of treatment. After the agent is given time to work, we’ll use a thin needle to inject the number of units previously agreed upon. Botox is then absorbed by nerve endings to essentially inhibit muscle contractions.
How Long Will It Last?
The individual factor comes into play here, forcing us to note that everyone responds differently to a treatment. Having said that, most applications last around six months. Your results may vary, and we’ll discuss this further with you at your consultation.
Botox requires repeated applications. The time interval between each treatment will depend upon your beauty goals and how your body responds. We may also use subsequent treatments to adjust the units injected. Rest assured we’ll discuss all of this information with you before therapy begins, and we’re here to answer any questions you have at any time.
Less Is More
Choosing this therapy now, rather than waiting, will reduce the dosage amounts you need in the future. Wrinkles only get worse with time. By starting a healthy, low-dose regimen today, you’ll improve your appearance now and for the coming days as well. That’s why we say less is more: less waiting means more benefits.
The Many Reasons to Say Yes
The reasons to have this treatment are numerous, which helps explain why it is so popular with patients. First and foremost, it is nearly pain-free and requires little to no recovery time. You can typically return to your daily activities immediately after treatment.
This therapy also yields visible benefits very quickly. Results are different for each patient, but you can expect to see smoother skin within three to seven days. This is much faster than other treatments; some topical ointments require a minimum of three months before they begin to work.
Fast and Non-Invasive
The process itself is also fast, giving rise to the popular phrase “lunchtime treatment.” In fact, patients are often able to schedule their therapies during lunch hours because they only need around 10 or 15 minutes. Unlike invasive surgeries, it’s virtually risk-free and does not present the risk of complications.
In discussing benefits, we would be remiss in ignoring the efficacy. This therapy very successfully reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some creams and topical ointments promise to do this without delivering results. But this treatment is proven, both in scientific studies and among the patients we treat in our office.
The success of this treatment is owed to its chemical composition and inherent ability to “freeze” muscles. These attributes come naturally, without interference from synthetic ingredients, making it a viable choice for those who want smoother skin.
Reduces Future Wrinkles
Another consideration is this: because this treatment inhibits muscle movement, it can help to prevent the development of future wrinkles in the forehead and around the eyes. It can also prevent current wrinkles from getting deeper. The reason is owed entirely to muscle contractions; by restricting them, we can minimize the appearance of lines.
Works on All People
With few exceptions, this treatment is safe for all patients. More to the point, Botox is designed for men and women. Cosmetic therapy was once believed to be made for women only. Today, we understand that men also want to look their best, and this treatment works just as well for them to smooth skin.
Is It the Best Option Available?
We hear this question often from patients, and the truth is that a “best” option does not exist for treating fine lines and wrinkles. This is because the choice for treatment comes down to personal preference. Many patients prefer Botox because of the benefits we listed here.
Our staff is devoted to helping you make the best choice for you. This is a personal decision, one that depends on your expected results and the area(s) you want to be treated. We can assure you the treatment is safe, effective, and rapid – with results that happen quickly.
A Deeper Look
The story of this treatment begins when it was discovered in the early 20th century. It was initially used to treat crossed eyes, and in the 1970s, scientists accidentally discovered it can stop muscle movement. In 2002, its medical use was increased to treat glabellar lines.
This treatment is considered versatile in nature. Even now, researchers look for new ways it can be applied in medicine. Outside of cosmetic therapies, it can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Urinary incontinence
- Eye spasms
- Excessive sweating
- Involuntary neck movements
It Doesn’t Freeze You
A common concern among patients is that Botox will freeze their face in place and lead to an artificial appearance. This is absolutely not true. Our office is highly-skilled and trained to administer the right dose for every patient.
We use just the right amount of medicine to prevent lines and creases from appearing when your face does move. A youthful face is vibrant, free of wrinkles, and ready to show emotion. We keep this in mind with every injection to simply enhance your appearance rather than alter it.
Wrinkles develop for a number of reasons. Genetics, environmental toxins, sun exposure, smoking, and aging all contribute. Some wrinkles are therefore more difficult to treat than others.
But those in the glabellar and eye regions are generally caused by facial movements. Every time you smile, squint, wink, frown, show surprise, or otherwise emote, the muscles in your face contract. This is quite natural and helps humans effectively communicate with each other.
The Development of Lines
With repeated muscle movement comes a loss of collagen in the skin. Collagen is responsible for giving us that plump, dewy look often associated with youth. Without it, skin loses its elasticity and firmness, and wrinkles develop.
Wrinkles are not bad, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept their development. Even better, cosmetic therapies are no longer exclusively for the rich and famous. Patients of all walks, all professions, and all ages can enjoy the benefits of this easy, effective treatment. We make it happen every day.
The Psychological Impact
Miscues can create a sense of isolation. If colleagues, friends, and family members repeatedly say you look one way, but you in fact feel something else entirely, it’s hard to know how to appropriately respond. With this in mind, you gradually withdraw from society because you don’t like the story your face is telling.
Misleading Aging Information
The face serves to communicate real and inferred information. A smile indicates joy and raised eyebrows express surprise. Your face can also reveal your approximate age, which may impact how people interact with you.
Unfortunately, premature lines and wrinkles can make you look older than you are. They can also make you feel older because, again, appearance plays a large part in self-perception.
A Multi-Faceted Treatment
Botox can eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and also boost a patient’s confidence. With smoother skin comes a renewed sense of self. You look and feel younger and want to show your face to the world, rather than shy away from social interactions and feel prematurely old.
This treatment is waiting for you. No two people are alike, so we will work to customize your therapy and give you the skin you crave. Call Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, North Carolina, today and schedule your appointment.