Moisturizing your skin and keeping it hydrated are two of the most important steps in preventing facial aging. Unfortunately, however, some of the most common and prevalent facial wrinkles are entirely movement-related. As such, external efforts to prevent these creases from forming are generally ineffective. Commonly referred to as dynamic wrinkles, problems like crow’s feet, perioral wrinkles, and lines that furrow the brow all start at the skin’s collagen layer. The good news is that BOTOX® is a popular and FDA-approved injectable that can release these creases in mere minutes.
What Dynamic Creases Really Are and How They Affect Your Skin’s Collagen Layer
You skin is comprised of many layers that are all capable of gradually renewing themselves. Regular, at-home efforts like exfoliation assists this process by sloughing away dead skin, and by allowing the healthier, underlying layers of skin to shine through. Underneath the final, foundation layer of your skin is a smooth collagen surface. This collagen exists to support your skin, and to define it. When you are young, it actively remodels and replenishes itself. It’s ongoing regeneration and repairs helps keep the surface of the skin smooth, soft, and ultimately youthful-looking.
As people grow older, however, their collagen levels invariably decline. Not only does the human body produce less collagen as it ages, but the collagen that it already has becomes dry and prone to cracking. Years of accumulated tension can help facilitate this cracking. In fact, the very first cracks to appear on the visage are always going to be in areas that experience the greatest amount of facial movement. For instance, if you’re constantly laughing and smiling, you might develop crow’s feet at the outer corners of your eyes. As tiny muscles in this region routinely flex and contract, the resulting tension will cause cracks in the collagen layer that lies just beneath the local skin. Moreover, these cracks will manifest as visible creases each time the responsible muscles are again engaged. This is the most noticeable difference between dynamic facial wrinkles and other more advanced forms of facial wrinkling. Dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet disappear when the facial muscles relax. Static wrinkles, such as those that travel along a person’s nasolabial folds, will remain present regardless of facial movement or any lack thereof.
Once your layer of smooth collagen starts cracking, ongoing facial movement can additionally expedite the spread of surface creases. While crow’s feet might start out as being only barely perceptible, these same fine lines can eventually become deep, long creases that are impossible to overlook whenever the expressive muscles are moving. As such, in many instances, treating modest amounts of dynamic wrinkling with BOTOX® early on can be a great way to minimize the impact that this new development has on the visage going forward. With this treatment, you won’t just look younger and better right now; you’ll also look a lot younger in the future by effectively limiting the advancement of dynamic wrinkling.
What BOTOX® Is and Why It’s Such a Popular Solution to Dynamic Wrinkles
BOTOX® is an injectable, purified form of botulinum toxin. It is a powerful neurotoxin that has the ability to selectively inhibit nerve activity. When used in cosmetic, anti-wrinkle treatments, this solution releases the facial tension responsible for dynamic wrinkles so that the skin’s layer of collagen can again become smooth and flat. As a result, whether you’re smiling, frowning, or furrowing your brow, the treated areas will remain youthful-looking and totally line-free. Best of all, this product is injected with the goal of preserving natural facial movement as much as possible. As such, even as muscle tension is released, patients retain the ability to communicate a broad range of sentiments and emotions via normal facial expression. You will still be able to laugh, frown, and look quizzical. You’ll just look a lot younger when doing these things.
How BOTOX® Works
Upon injection, BOTOX® blocks the nerve signals that control specific muscle movements. By inserting very small amounts of this solution at the brow, around the mouth, and near the corners of the eyes, it is possible to release the muscles that are creating cracks in your skin’s collagen layer. As these muscles relax, all stress on the collagen is released, and this supporting surface will regain its smooth, even, and unblemished appearance. Post-treatment, when you make facial expressions, a very small number of your facial muscles won’t move at all. Thus, you can smile big without developing creases at the corners of your eyes, purse your lips without revealing deep, perioral wrinkles (smoker’s lines), and make a quizzical or frustrated look without creasing your brow.
Over time, the effects of this neurotoxin will gradually wear off. Your body actively works on breaking this solution down as soon as it is detected. This process takes between four and six months, depending upon the overall efficacy of the individual’s filter organs and his or her all-around health. As soon as it is complete, full nerve functioning will return, and dynamic creases will slowly start to reappear. Fortunately for patients who like BOTOX® and the cosmetic improvements it creates, it is possible to have these injections repeated once or twice each year, as needed.
Getting Your First BOTOX® Treatment
BOTOX® is sometimes referred to as a “lunchtime face lift”. This is largely due to the incredibly short duration of this procedure. Most treatments are completed within 15 minutes or less, and there is generally no downtime for patients to deal with. As such, you really can minimize or eliminate your dynamic wrinkles right during your lunch break.
At the start of your appointment, the doctor can apply ice packs or a topical numbing agent for assured comfort. The needle that’s used to deliver this solution to the targeted area is quite small and very fine-tipped. In fact, it can be easily compared to the small-sized needles that diabetic patients use for their self-administered insulin shots. Once the doctor has had the chance to asses your cosmetic concerns, a quick series of injections will be made in all facial areas that have been affected by dynamic creasing. After these are done, you will be free to go.
Some patients experience mild aftereffects such as light bruising or swelling across the treatment area. These developments are both common and short-lived. They will usually abate within just one to two hours of your procedure. Moreover, the results of this treatment can start manifesting right away. Most patients report significant decreases in dynamic facial wrinkling immediately after their procedures. However, the full range of benefits from a BOTOX® anti-wrinkle treatment can take between two to five days to present. Both the ability to erase dynamic wrinkles with little to no downtime, and it’s very limited aftereffects make BOTOX® a preferred treatment for those who want to renew their appearances fast. For example, if you’re on your way to your high school reunion, are preparing for your wedding, or are applying for an important, high-profile job, these injections can make you look younger and restore your confidence in almost no time at all. Best of all, no one ever has to know that you’ve had any cosmetic work done. Unlike face lifts and other surgical wrinkle treatments, BOTOX® does not require any incisions or special aftercare.
Understanding the Duration of BOTOX® Results
BOTOX® results can vary somewhat from one person to the next. In some patients, the body is able to react to and break down this injectable quite efficiently. In these cases, treatment results can last just four months. Another factor that can affect the duration of treatment results is the frequency of BOTOX® use. When select muscles are stilled for any extended period of time, these muscles are not given the same stimulation and conditioning that untreated muscles receive. As such, it can take longer for them to respond once nerve signals have been restored. This is known as long-term muscle conditioning, and it is common in patients who use this injectable in an ongoing fashion for two or more years. For these patients, treatment results can last between six and eight months. For those who love BOTOX® and who enjoy using it in an ongoing fashion, this means requiring fewer treatments each year, and the ability to continually enjoy youthful and line-free appearances.
Combining BOTOX® with Other Non-Invasive Anti-Aging Procedures
The aging process affects the skin in a variety of ways. As such, it is rare for patients to address all of their aesthetic concerns with a single cosmetic treatment, particularly when the aging process is already quite advanced. In addition to dynamic wrinkles, you may be struggling with enlarged pores, sun spots, hormone-related discoloration such as melasma, and general dullness of the entire complexion. If this is the case, skin-renewing procedures such as micro-dermabrasion and chemical peels can help slough dead and damaged skin cells to improve the texture and tone of the treatment area.
If you have loose skin along the jawline, deep creases at your nasolabial folds, or noticeable hollows along your cheeks, injectable fillers can be inserted in these areas to replace lost volume. When multiple age-related concerns exist, you can work with the doctor to establish the perfect, multi-pronged plan for reaching your cosmetic goals safely. The key to a truly successful outcome lies in finding the right combination of procedures, and then timing each treatment carefully. While BOTOX® can release your crow’s feet, frown lines, and peri-oral creases, secondary procedures can create a more vibrant and beautiful complexion, and give your skin the plump, dewy appearance that’s most indicative of youth.
What Baby BOTOX® Injections Are
Baby BOTOX® refers to a treatment process that affects the skin at a lesser depth. During these procedures, a larger number of injections are made, but at higher and more superficial skin layers. This allows for increased retention of natural facial movement. In these treatments, the injected solution is sometimes infused with a variety of skin-supporting and skin-renewing ingredients. Procedures like these are great for minimizing the very earliest signs of dynamic facial wrinkles, but they are generally most effective among young adults who are interested in using BOTOX® anti-wrinkle injectable in a preventative fashion.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for BOTOX®?
The primary limitation of BOTOX® is its inability to minimize or eliminate problems with static wrinkling. Static wrinkles are pronounced facial creases that develop as the result of lost volume, changes in the integrity of the skin, and age-related sagging. These creases represent a more advanced form of facial aging and they are generally unresponsive to injectable neurotoxins. Due to this fact, the best candidates for BOTOX® are people with moderate, motion-related creases around the lips and eyes, and at the brow. Given that BOTOX® can be safely and successfully repaired with dermal fillers, micro-dermabrasion, and many other non-invasive, skin-renewing procedures, it is sometimes used as part of combination treatments for those with both dynamic and static wrinkles to correct.
Patients receiving BOTOX® should not be pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of treatment. You should not be allergic to the botulinum toxin or any products that contain this toxin. More importantly, this injectable is not advisable for anyone with a known neuro-muscular disorder.