Botox Benefits and How Fast Does It Work?
The development of wrinkles and fine lines on the face comes with aging. It is perfectly natural, but wildly unpopular.
Many Americans are fighting back against these unwelcomed signs of maturity with Botox and other anti-aging neurotoxins that smooth out facial creases to prove a more youthful appearance.
What is Botox and how does it work?
Botox is a protein purified from botulinum toxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is one of the neurotoxins that is widely used for cosmetics and medical purposes. Other neurotoxins commercially available today include Dysport, Xeomin, Myobloc, and Jeuveau. Some people may use the term “botox” to describe all these products, but Botox is a registered trademark for one specific brand of neurotoxins.
Botulinum toxin works its magic on facial wrinkles by blocking signals between nerves and muscles, causing the muscles to relax. By immobilizing the muscles that surround the fine facial lines, those lines are less likely to move. The result is diminished, unwanted facial wrinkles and a rejuvenated appearance.
The uses of botulinum toxin
Botox was first approved in the late 1980s to treat eye muscle disorders. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration approved its use for cosmetic purposes. Other medical uses include treatment of neck spasms, excessive sweating, an overactive bladder and prevention of chronic migraines. It is advised that these neuromodulators are avoided in pregnancy or during breastfeeding, as well as in people who are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Facial anatomy can be quite complex, so it is ideal to see someone who has had extensive training in this matter. Knowing the correct dosing to inject is only a small part of the procedure — your injector should understand the functions of each of the muscles of the face and its reaction when the neurotoxin weakens the muscles and how to counteract that muscle if the result is undesired.
All the usual precautions prior to any injections should be followed. Typically, the procedure is not too painful, however ice compresses or topical anesthetics can be applied to decrease discomfort.
The effects of these neurotoxins typically can be seen within one to three days, with full efficacy achieved by two weeks. If asymmetry is noted and needs corrections, it should be done around this two-week mark. Depending on the product, the effect usually last three to four months. Repeated injections around this timeframe can increase the longevity of the neurotoxin.
Common and usually temporary side effects include bruising, asymmetry, headaches and eyelid drooping if the neurotoxin migrates toward the eyelid. Overall, the procedure requires little recovery time. It is advised not to lie down for at least three hours after receiving the injection and to avoid rubbing your face in the treated area. Vigorous exercise should also be avoided as this may increase your blood pressure, which will increase the risk of bruising.
If you would like more information or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.
Learn more about dermatologist Jessica Chu, MD