Some people think Botox is new, or just a decade or so old. In reality, Botox has been around for decades treating migraine headaches, TMJ symptoms, involuntary eyelid spasms, and an assortment of other conditions.
But it was 2002 when Botox became a household name, more famous than most of the celebrities who swear by it. That year the FDA approved Botox for aesthetic use on facial wrinkles. Ever since that day, Botox has been the most popular cosmetic procedure every year. It’s not even a contest.
So, how is it that Botox took over the world? Because it works. Botox is the master of what are called dynamic wrinkles, wrinkles that are formed by muscle contractions. Dynamic wrinkles are things like crow’s feet, frown lines, stuff like that. But Botox is not the king; it’s not even royalty, when it comes to static wrinkles. These are wrinkles that are there all the time and are caused by sun exposure, dry climates, and general aging of the skin. Botox has no effect on static wrinkles. Static wrinkles can be addressed with dermal fillers.
So, how does Botox work on dynamic wrinkles?
If you’re familiar with dermal fillers, then you know they literally “fill” in the wrinkle from beneath, basically pushing the depressed area back upward. Botox works in an entirely different manner. Botox is called a neurotoxin. It is actually made from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that cause botulism. Decades ago scientists discovered that the botulinum toxin, when used in very small amounts, can actually temporarily paralyze a muscle. It does this by blocking the signals from the nerve to the brain. Without those messages, the brain doesn’t tell the muscle to contract.
Certain behaviors such as squinting and frowning activate the same muscles every time. Over time as your skin ages and loses some of its elastin to keep it more supple, these contractions cause wrinkles to show on the skin surface when those muscles contract. Botox blocks those muscles from contracting, so the wrinkles either disappear or are dramatically reduced.
When opting to have Botox injections, however, it is important to choose a doctor thoroughly versed in facial anatomy, such as Dr. Rosenthal, because Botox injected into the wrong muscle or injecting too much Botox can create problems such as a droopy eyelid.
Botox results generally last around four months. At that point, the muscles will start contracting again and the wrinkles will return. That’s when it is time to schedule another Botox session to keep giving those wrinkles the beatdown.
If you haven’t tried Botox yet, there are millions and millions of people the world over who swear by it. Call us at 408-559-4700 to schedule your appointment.