Let’s be honest – who among us wants to see the visible signs of aging day in and day out? If you’re waging a one-woman war against fine lines and wrinkles on your face, but the allies you find in over-the-counter anti-aging products just aren’t working effectively, then it’s time to find a new strategy. At Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL, our skin experts understand that Botox is an ideal solution for most deep wrinkles on the face.
Botox is a non-surgical injectable treatment that has a trusted reputation stretching back decades at this point. But while dermal fillers are designed to fill in areas of lost volume on the face, neurotoxin injectables like Botox are designed to address different aspects of aging that can’t be corrected with dermal fillers or other aesthetic treatments. So, how does this miracle injectable work? We’re happy to unpack the secrets of this treatment before you schedule your first appointment.
How Does Botox Get Rid of Frown Lines?
Many people first assume that frown lines are the wrinkles around the mouth that form when your lips are downturned. But actually, frown lines are on the upper face. Specifically, frown lines, also known as glabellar lines, are the verticle wrinkles that form between the eyebrows. You develop frown lines over a lifetime by furrowing your eyebrows and even squinting.
Because the skin on the upper face is thinner than other areas of the face, it’s usually not possible to use dermal fillers to correct glabellar lines. Fortunately, neurotoxin injectables work in a different way that allows for deep wrinkles on thin skin to be smoothed away. Essentially, neurotoxin treatments relax the muscles in the face to get rid of wrinkles like frown lines. But the real key to neurotoxin treatments is the formula and the way that neurotoxins work.
Neurotoxin injectable treatments like Botox and Dysport are both formulated with purified forms of botulinum toxin, which is a toxin that is created as a byproduct of certain bacteria. Before you panic about injecting a bacteria or toxin into your body, remember that these formulas are made with purified forms of the toxin, which means they are extremely unlikely to cause adverse reactions. In fact, botulinum toxin, in particular, works in a way that is safe enough to be used for medical purposes.
What Botulinum Toxin Does
To understand how this treatment works, you first need to understand how you can make facial expressions. The ability to move your face is facilitated by the uninterrupted communication between the motor neurons in your brain and the muscles on your face; when the brain sends a signal to smile, neurotransmitters for muscle movement are released to communicate the action, and then the muscles in your face shift so that you are smiling.
When this neurotoxin treatment is injected into the muscles of your face, it ends up inhibiting the normal communication between your facial muscles and your brain. Because your brain will no longer be able to send effective signals to your muscles, your muscles will no longer move and the appearance of your wrinkles will smooth away.
Will You Feel Your Face?
One of the most common misconceptions about this treatment is the idea that it will make your face feel numb. But the truth is that you will still be able to feel your face after your injections. The reason why your face will not be numb goes back to the way botulinum toxins work. This particular toxin only affects the motor neurons in your body, not the sensory neurons, which are the nerves that conduct sensation signals. Because this neurotoxin only affects the communication of the muscles, you will still be able to feel your face as you normally would after your treatment is complete.
Will Your Face Be Frozen?
This is another misconception people have about this treatment. Although this neurotoxin will inhibit the normal communication between your muscles and your brain, the fact of the matter is that you will still be able to move your face after this treatment. However, the degree of your facial movement will be drastically different. Many people find that the expressions they can make after this treatment settle are much more subtle than before.
Stabilizing Proteins and Tolerance
Another key of this neurotoxin formula is the proteins that are added to stabilize the treatment. The proteins in the injectable formula make it easier for the formula to latch onto your muscles and perform as intended. Although some neurotoxin injections are formulated without stabilizing proteins, many patients find that formulas that include proteins work more effectively.
The downside of these proteins, however, is that they enable your body to form a tolerance to the product. Tolerance happens when your immune system learns to recognize the protein in the injectable formula, which makes it more difficult for the neurotoxin to work for as long as intended since your immune system fights it off.
How to Avoid Tolerance
The good news is that it’s possible to avoid developing a tolerance for neurotoxin treatments. The easiest way to avoid tolerance is to be mindful of your treatment frequency. You should never have another treatment while the effects of your current treatment are still working.
You can also avoid tolerance by switching between different neurotoxin treatments. For example, many patients alternate between Botox and another neurotoxin to avoid tolerance. Alternate neurotoxin treatments include Dysport and Xeomin. Please speak with our staff if you are interested in this type of treatment plan.
Will This Treatment Affect Your Whole Face?
No, this treatment will not inhibit all of the muscles in your face. The only muscles that will be affected are the ones that are being treated. This is because this neurotoxin has a stable formula with very little “spread”, meaning the formula does not spread from the injected muscle to a neighboring muscle. The localized precision of this treatment means you can treat an isolated muscle or muscle group at one time to achieve your aesthetic goals.
What Is This Treatment Like?
Neurotoxin treatments are just as simple as any other injectable treatment, which means your treatment appointments will generally only take 30 minutes to complete. Your treatments will not be painful because we will use a topical numbing cream to ensure your comfort during the treatment. During your treatment, several injections will be made into each of the desired muscle groups until your optimal results are achieved.
The amount of neurotoxin required for your treatment will be determined by the severity of your skin condition and by how many areas of the face you are treating. The upper limit for this particular injection is 400 units at one time. Most people only require 100 to 200 units to achieve their desired results.
Where Can You Use This Toxin?
When Botox was first released, it was used specifically for treating wrinkles on the upper face. However, as research has broadened and the neurotoxin formula has been refined, this treatment can now be used in a variety of other ways. For example, this treatment can often be used to treat migraines or excessive sweating. For aesthetic purposes, this treatment is commonly used to treat:
- Forehead wrinkles
- Glabellar lines
- Crow’s feet
- Chin dimples
- Gummy smile
- Downturned lip corners
- Bunny lines
When Will You See Results?
Unlike some other aesthetic treatments, you will be able to see the results of this treatment very quickly. Most people can see the first results of this neurotoxin injectable within three to five days, although some people may require up to 10 days to see the final results.
Initially, the results of your treatment may appear to have a slow onset, but as your body responds to the neurotoxin, the effect of the treatment will become more obvious. It’s common for your first results to feel very stiff or tight until the neurotoxin begins to work; after that point, the muscles in your face will relax and the appearance of your wrinkles will be greatly diminished.
What’s the Best Treatment Frequency?
In general, neurotoxin treatments are only effective for three to four months at a time. For you, this means you will be able to have appointments three to four times a year depending on how long your results last. Some people may be able to enjoy the results of this treatment for four to six months. The treatment frequency for this treatment will always be determined by how long your results last.
What Should You Do Before Your Treatment?
Because this is an injectable treatment, there are some things you will need to do to prepare for your appointment. The most important guideline to follow is to stop using anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning medications at least three to five days before your treatment, if possible. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol for at least 24 to 48 hours before your appointment.
How Long Is Your Recovery Period?
One of the best things about an injectable treatment like this one is the fact that there is no prolonged recovery time associated with the treatment. Most people can immediately return to work or normal daily activities after their appointment. Additionally, there are very few post-care instructions you will need to follow after your treatment. Some of these instructions may include:
- Do not lay down for four to six hours
- Do not rub or touch the face for 12 to 24 hours
- Avoid hot water, hot tubs, and saunas
- Avoid using harsh chemicals, including retinoids, for 24 hours
Can You Help Your Results Last Longer?
Although you can expect your results to last for three to four months at a time, there are some things you can do to maximize the longevity of your results. Even with factors like your age and your specific biological response to this injectable, you can help your results last longer by avoiding prolonged sun exposure without SPF protection and using anti-aging skincare products that complement your results.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Most adults are good potential candidates for this treatment, If you want to smooth the appearance of wrinkles on your face and you are over the age of 21, then you may be qualified for this treatment. Potential users should not be allergic to the ingredients in the treatment and should not be currently pregnant or breastfeeding. A consultation will be able to fully determine your eligibility for this neurotoxin injectable.
Get Rid of Frown Lines Effectively
You may not be able to stop aging completely, but when every wrinkle is a battle, then the right anti-aging solution can make a huge difference. A neurotoxin injectable like Botox can effectively smooth away the appearance of wrinkles for several months at a time. Contact Salas Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL to schedule your first appointment today.