Last year’s holiday party season was pretty much a washout thanks to COVID, but this year should be back in full deck-the-halls spirit! It’ll be great to see everyone in person again. After all, how many jigsaw puzzles can a person do?
So, are you ready for a return to the office holiday party, the family Christmas Eve dinner, and even the trip to the in-laws? Maybe you’d like to leave your crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead lines off the guest list.
If so, give us a call at Dr. Kearney’ to have yourself a merry little Botox session. Botox takes about four days to fully erase your wrinkles, so now’s the time to get ready for your upcoming events.
How does Botox work?
Botox is not a dermal filler, such as Juvéderm or Restylane (Dr. Kearney also offers those); Botox is a neuromodulator. It’s made primarily from the botulinum toxin type A, the same bacteria that are responsible for botulism. But these bacteria also show up throughout the natural world in soil, water, and in the digestive tract of many mammals. Scientists researching the bacteria back in the late 1940s discovered that when injected in a minute amount into a muscle, the botulinum toxin caused the muscle to stop contracting for a period. Botox was born from that research.
When injected into a muscle, the botulinum toxin blocks the acetylcholine in the muscle (the nerve messenger) from being able to send its messages to the brain. The nerve messenger can’t get the call to the brain to contract the muscle, so the muscle stays relaxed. This has obvious benefits, such as relaxing involuntary muscle spasms that cause a person’s eyelid to twitch. This is known as blepharospasm and it was actually the first FDA-approved use for Botox back in 1989, 13 years before the cosmetic approval in 2002.
This muscle relaxing capability also comes into play with wrinkles on the upper third of the face. These wrinkles form on the surface skin above certain muscles we use across our upper faces when we form expressions. Go ahead, make a frown. Feel all the muscles around your eyes, between your eyebrows, and on your forehead contract. After we make these expressions hundreds of thousands of times, coupled with thinning skin that comes with aging, wrinkles form above these muscles. These are crow’s feet around the eyes, the 11s between our eyebrows, and lines across our forehead. These are the areas we target with your Botox injections.
Botox only works on these wrinkles on the upper third of the face. If you have wrinkles around the mouth, such as smile lines or parentheses lines, Botox doesn’t work on them because they aren’t the result of muscle contractions. They are simply due to sun damage, declining collagen production, and various environmental and personal factors. These wrinkles can be filled from beneath with a dermal filler, such as Juvéderm or Restylane.