What is Botox?
Botox treatment is used to improve the appearance of both moderate to severe wrinkles in the forehead, between the brows, at crow’s feet (outer corners of eyes) and neck in adults. This is a non-invasive treatment where, with the help of a very fine needle, Botox is injected into facial muscles beneath the wrinkles. The injected medicine relaxes the muscle and reduces its ability to contract, resulting in a smooth skin.
Unlike most facial rejuvenation procedures, the treatment takes only a few minutes. You need to take out very little time from your busy schedule to get the Botox treatment. No downtime is needed for recovery.
How does Botox work?
The injected Botox works beneath the skin’s surface and targets the underlying muscle activity that causes formation of wrinkles overtime. Normally when we squint, frown or make other facial expressions, our nerves release a neurotransmitter chemical – acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter binds to receptors within the muscle to make it contract.
Botox binds to the acetylcholine receptors and blocks the signals from the nerve to the muscle, resulting in a reduction of muscle activity and temporarily preventing contraction of the muscles responsible for the formation of wrinkles.
The binding process starts within 48 hours of the treatment its impact on the skin starts showing within 10 days.
How do wrinkles form?
Wrinkles are a natural outcome of the aging process. The facial muscles repeatedly contract and expand with changing facial expressions over the lifetime. As we grow older, however, the dermis (middle layer of the skin) slowly loses elasticity-providing ingredients – collagen and elastin. The fatty subcutaneous (bottommost) layer of the skin also loses fat over time. When these things happen, the skin gets thinner and less moisture gets to the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). The epidermis begins to sag, creating wrinkles. The extent of wrinkles also depends upon the lifestyle and heredity.
Is Botox safe?
Yes. It is FDA-approved. Botox is a neurotoxin that causes muscles to relax. Doctors have used Botox for many years to improve the cosmetic appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. Botox also has some medical uses to treat various symptoms and conditions. Like any other treatment, it may become unsafe if administered by inexperienced hands. The dosage is critical to both safety and effectiveness. Prescribed frequency and clinical conditions need to be maintained. The only way to ensure this is to have it under the supervision of a qualified and experienced medical professional, specially a qualified dermatologist.
Are there any contraindications?
Botox is inadvisable for the ladies who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with skin infection, rashes or other imperfections in the area to be treated, allergic to Botox. Although your doctor ascertains absence of all adverse symptoms before going ahead with the treatment, it is advisable to proactively inform the doctor about the symptoms you think are relevant.
When will the results be visible?
Results will start showing within 48 hours of treatment and will reach the peak in approximately 30 days.
Is it just one-time affair?
The effect of Botox lasts for 3 to 6 months depending on your age, condition of skin, facial structure and expressions, diet and your life style. With depletion of the medicine, muscle action starts increasing and the wrinkles start reappearing, indicating the need for repetition of the treatment. It has been observed that with repeated treatment, the wrinkles often appear less severe than before.
What about the common myths we hear about Botox?
Myths surround any new technology. We saw it when colour TV, refrigerators, CFL, gas ovens, bypass surgery and numerous inventions in medicine were new. So is it with Botox. While it is important that we do not brush aside any information as false, it will be prudent to do a thorough research from legitimate sources to establish the authenticity of the information.