There was no way to know in 2002 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Botox® for cosmetic use that it would be the runaway success that it’s become. The reason is simple. Botox gets results that no other treatment this side of surgery can accomplish.
Most of the lines and wrinkles that come with age result from skin laxity and loss of support in your skin’s middle layer, called the dermis. There are plenty of treatments to address these, but you may also have creases that result from expression muscles. Think of those lines across your forehead, the so-called “11s” between your eyes, and the crow’s feet that bunch up when you smile.
Jennifer Baron, MD recommends Botox Cosmetic injections for those patients whose expression muscles have gained the upper hand. Botox isn’t a treatment that everyone needs, but for many, it’s a powerful way to turn back time or restore a relaxed appearance, years before you might consider a facelift. Is Botox really worth it? Here’s what you need to know to decide.
Contracting and relaxing
When you flex any muscle, you’re moving between relaxed and contracted states. While that’s easy to imagine when you think of, say, a bicep curl, it’s less intuitive as you consider what goes into facial expressions.
A smile, for instance, changes the shape of your mouth, cheeks, and eyes. It’s not weightlifting, but the expression depends on muscles contracting. The same is true when you concentrate or worry. Your forehead bunches up and eyebrows point down, again due to muscle contraction.
Over time, some muscles hold a semi-contracted state, never fully relaxing, so your frowns and smiles won’t completely relax, either. This wreaks havoc on the smooth lines of your face, deepening shadows and giving false appearances about your moods. In short, these expression lines make you look older.
The role of Botox
Long before botulinum type A injections became an aesthetic star, to the tune of over 5 million treatments in 2019, Botox developed as a therapeutic medication for certain eye problems relating to muscle spasms that interfered with a patient's eyesight.
The botulinum type A toxin is a powerful neuromodulator, capable of blocking the chemical processes involved with contracting muscles. Lab-synthesized pure versions of the toxin are massively diluted for use in Botox for selective effects delivered by local injection.
In the days after your treatment, the target muscles fully relax due to the effects of Botox. As relaxation takes hold, your skin reflects the smoothness of the relaxed tissue. You still retain the ability to form expressions with untreated muscles in the surrounding areas. One treatment lasts between three and six months.
Botox remains one of the most tested medications on the market. Its safety is well-proven while millions of treatments every year demonstrate a track record of satisfied clients.
Contact Dr. Baron’s San Jose office and schedule a consultation to learn more about the benefits Botox has in store for you. The appointment line is 408-418-8780. Call today.