Why BOTOX Is Still King
BOTOX is one of the most popular of all cosmetic treatments, and its popularity doesn’t wane – this product remains the “king” of all non-surgical cosmetic treatments worldwide.
BOTOX: A Brief History
BOTOX—the brand name for botulinum toxin—has a much longer history than most people would suspect. It was actually “discovered” in 1895, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that it started to become recognized as a treatment for hyperactive muscles. Scientists found that it could block the release of acetylcholine from motor nerve endings.
Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger that, among its many other functions, sends signals from nerves to cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscles (for example, the muscles of your arms and legs). It can stimulate muscles to contract as well as inhibit them from contracting (in particular, it helps the heart muscles to relax). In this way, it affects all “action” behavior of the body.
Once this basic functionality was understood, its medical use became more widespread and, in the ‘70s and ‘80s, began to be used as an injectable treatment for a slew of different types of spasms.
The Use of BOTOX as a Treatment for Wrinkles
The discovery of its benefits for cosmetic use, however, came about in the ‘90s, purely by accident. An ophthalmologist had been using it to treat her patients with a condition known as “blepharospasm,” which is abnormal blinking, twitching or spasms of the eyelids. She noticed, at some point, that her patients were starting to lose their frown lines.
She and her dermatologist husband began using it, specifically for that purpose, and published a paper on their findings in a dermatological journal—which included not just how effective, but how simple and safe the treatment was.
That was all anyone needed to hear! Demand and usage literally blew up across the country, to the point that, in 1997, the supply of BOTOX in the U.S. ran out and panic among devotees reigned.
BOTOX – The No. 1 Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatment in the U.S.
Since then, a number of injectable dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm, Radiesse, Restylane, and Sculptra, have been developed to smooth facial wrinkles, although not all work on all areas of the face. They have different chemical formulations—some natural to the body, some synthetic—but they are generally based on the same principles: Plump up the skin to smooth out the wrinkles and stimulate the body’s production of collagen to enhance the skin’s elasticity.
The principles are sound; however, the action is far different from the way in which BOTOX works.
What causes wrinkles?
Unless someone has been completely devoid of emotion their entire life—which is impossible—the number of times they have squinted or frowned or raised their eyebrows is incalculable. All this is accomplished by contracting the muscles. As the body produces less and less collagen over time, the skin loses its elasticity, settles in the areas over the contracted muscles and becomes wrinkles.
How BOTOX Smooths Out Wrinkles
Rather than acting as a dermal filler—plumping up the skin and/or attempting to stimulate the growth of collagen (the success of which varies with each person)—BOTOX works on the actual source of the wrinkle by relaxing the facial muscles underneath it. Without the contraction of the muscle, the skin is not pulled into the wrinkle and smooths out.
How much BOTOX is needed?
This depends on the depth of the wrinkles and how many areas are being treated.
The BOTOX Procedure
Using a very fine needle, BOTOX is gently injected under the skin and into the muscle below the wrinkle. Because one injection contains a tiny amount of BOTOX, the treatment typically requires several injections, per wrinkle. Following the injection, the area may be massaged to ensure even distribution of the product.
Depending on patient sensitivity, there may be mild discomfort, which can be addressed by application of either a numbing cream or ice. The entire treatment often takes less than 10 minutes. Side effects, which are generally limited to mild bruising or redness, are rare.
How quickly will I see results and how long do they last?
On average, patients see results in just a few days although, in rare cases, patients have reported that it took up to two weeks.
These results usually last three to four months but have been known to last as long as seven months. This depends on the treatment site and how “active” the patient is, in terms of facial expression. Most patients return, periodically, for further treatments.
While an average of four months may not seem long lasting, compared to dermal fillers—some of which have results that can last for a year or two—there is good news. Over time and with repeated treatments, the facial muscles become somewhat used to staying relaxed, so the contractions are reduced and the wrinkles are less severe, even without treatment.
Why ZL MedAesthetics for BOTOX in Tucson
The precise application of BOTOX is vital, and two things, in particular, need to be determined for the best possible outcome:
- The exact location of the injection sites, so as to deliver the product to the correct muscles
- The correct quantity of BOTOX needed to produce the desired result
If the locations or way the product is injected is done incorrectly, not only will the wrinkle not be smoothed out, but it is possible to inject unwanted muscles, leaving the patient with a frozen, unnatural appearance – injection skill is an important point in choosing a provider. Too little BOTOX will not stop the muscle contraction causing the wrinkle. Both of these determinations can only come with experience, especially since results are not immediate and cannot be monitored at the time of treatment.
The other issue, sadly, is this: There are unscrupulous, untrained people who will manufacture fake and unsafe formulations and hook unwary patients into buying and trying them because they are “cheaper.” The rash of “BOTOX parties” in people’s basements testifies to this—as do the horror stories.
We, at ZL MedAesthetics, are highly trained, have treated hundreds of patients successfully, and all in our pristine facilities. For reliable and caring BOTOX in Tucson, call us.