Botox is so well known people think it has been around for decades. And it has been, but not for removing wrinkles on the upper third of the face. Botox has a pretty long history of treating issues such as involuntary eyelid spasms and temporomandibular jaw disorders.
But in 2002 Botox left the realm of medicine and entered the pop culture. That was the year the FDA approved Botox for the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles and lines on the upper third of the face. Ever since its aesthetic debut, Botox has dominated the yearly statistics for cosmetic procedures worldwide. It is far and away the most performed procedure, surgical or non-surgical, the world over. Isn’t it about time for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
Dynamic wrinkles, meet Botox
Why does Botox have such a rabid following? It works. Botox is the master of what is called dynamic wrinkles, wrinkles that are formed by muscle contractions. Dynamic wrinkles are crow’s feet, frown lines, the 11s.
There is another type of wrinkle, known as the static wrinkle. Botox holds no sway over static wrinkles. That’s because of these wrinkles, like a wrinkle in a shirt, are on display at all times. They are not related to muscle contractions beneath the skin. Sun damage, environmental issues, and general aging of the skin create static wrinkles and Botox does not affect them. Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, are intended for static wrinkles. They fill the wrinkle from beneath, pushing the skin back upward.
How does Botox perform its magic?
While dermal fillers “fill” in wrinkles, Botox works in an entirely different manner. Botox is called a neuromodulator. It is 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, could 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.
When you perform everyday behaviors such as squinting or frowning, muscles contract as part of the behavior, particularly those around the eyes. Over time as your skin ages and loses some of its elastin (which helps keep the skin supple), these contractions cause wrinkles to show on the skin surface above the muscles. Botox blocks those muscles from contracting, so the wrinkles either disappear or their appearance is dramatically reduced. These wrinkles primarily form on the upper third of the face; this is the area where we make most of our expressions with our underlying facial muscles.
Botox stops muscles from contracting for around four months. At that point, the muscle will begin contracting again, and the wrinkles will return. That’s the time to see us again and have Dr. Lonergan or Dr. deLeeuw inject some more Botox. Both of our doctors have extensive facial anatomy knowledge, and experience with Botox. This is important to understand the proper placement of the Botox so as not to impact an incorrect muscle and create issues such as drooping eyelids and such.
Many people opt to have a Botox session before their holiday parties, so call us at 302-656-0214 and make your appointment now.