Of all the aesthetic medical procedures available today, surgical or nonsurgical, the most popular is the injection of Botulinum toxin type A. Known more commonly worldwide by the brand name, BOTOX®, this procedure is based on the therapeutic benefits of Clostridium botulinum.
Clostridium botulinum is a bacteria that produces a toxin containing different types of serology, labeled A to G. BOTOX® is based on Type A, which is considered to be the most potent. Type A is approved by the FDA for the treatment of several health conditions, including strabismus, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm and chronic migraines. Over a decade ago, it was also approved for the cosmetic treatment of frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines).
HOW BOTOX® WORKS FOR WRINKLES
BOTOX® relaxes the muscles that are creating the offending wrinkle by something called selective muscle denervation. A medical term, selective muscle denervation involves disabling a muscle’s ability to contract by affecting the nerves and chemical, acetylcholine.
The neuromuscular junction is the place where a nerve and muscle meet. Acetylcholine is released from the nerves when your brain signals the desire to contract a muscle, and it binds to the muscles to begin everything that is involved in contracting that muscle. BOTOX® blocks the transmission of acetylcholine to the muscle, thereby preventing contraction. Without the ability to contract, the skin that is located over the muscle no longer creases. In fact, this same process is how it works for other concerns. For example, by relaxing the muscles in the jaw, the jawline becomes less prominent and square to create a more feminine facial contour.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR BOTOX® TREATMENT
The results of a BOTOX® injection can be typically seen between 5-10 days, with results lasting for about four months on average. After this time, the treated muscle will gradually be able to contract again and the aesthetic concern will return.
BOTOX® is only effective for wrinkles that appear with the contraction of facial muscles. These include forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet and glabellar lines. Wrinkles that are visible without contracting the muscles in the area cannot be treated (injectable fillers are better suited for these). However, BOTOX® can soften these “static” wrinkles to a certain extent.
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