Botox has become such a well-known brand name; it’s right up there with Xerox and Coca-Cola. Year in and year out, Botox injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure the world over, surgical or nonsurgical. This neuromodulator is so popular, many people assume it’s been around for decades.
And while Botox has been around for decades, it hasn’t been for the uses people know it for now. Long before it was battling crow’s feet and the 11s, Botox was battling migraine headaches, involuntary eyelid spasms, TMJ symptoms, and other conditions.
But Botox really went into the stratosphere in 2002. That was the year the FDA approved Botox for the cosmetic treatment of wrinkles and lines. Ever since, it has become a household name. Really, Botox is more famous than most of the famous faces in Hollywood who use it to keep some of the signs of aging at bay.
Why is Botox so crazy popular? Because it works, pure and simple. Botox works on 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 isn’t the boss of static wrinkles. These are wrinkles that are there all the time and are caused by sun exposure, personal habits, and general aging of the skin. Botox has no effect on static wrinkles. Static wrinkles can be addressed with dermal fillers such as Juvederm. At Alison Wellness Clinic, we offer both of these popular injectables.
How does Botox beat up on dynamic wrinkles?
The difference between injectables is the way in which they do their work. As their name implies, dermal fillers “fill” in the wrinkle from beneath. They are injected into the skin below the wrinkle and push up the depression.
Botox works in an entirely different manner; it doesn’t fill the wrinkle, it stops it from forming by targeting the muscle that creates a wrinkle on the skin above it. Botox 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.
Certain behaviors such as squinting and frowning involve muscles that contract to form the expression. This is particularly true on the upper third of the face, particularly those around the eyes. Over time as your skin ages and loses some of its elastin and suppleness, 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. Alison, 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 with Alison Wellness. Call us at 256-489-5748 to make your appointment.