If you are going to have Botox injections to get rid of your wrinkles it is a good idea to understand how they work – and how your facial muscles work. Botox is mainly used to treat wrinkles in the face, but it may not be suitable for all kinds of wrinkles.
How wrinkles form
Wrinkles form due to the action of muscles moving the skin, but those wrinkles form perpendicular to the muscles that causes them. For instance, those mainly perpendicular lines between your eyebrows are cause by a horizontal muscle contracting, while the horizontal wrinkles above your eyebrows and across your forehead are caused by the contraction of a vertical muscle.
How Botox prevents them forming
When Botox is injected into the muscle it blocks the nerve impulse to tissues and thus prevents it from contracting or moving and this is what removes the wrinkles. If muscles cannot move, then they can’t push the skin into a fold or wrinkle. The muscle may still be able to move a little bit, especially as the Botox is absorbed into the body and loses its effectiveness.
When Botox is not suitable
This is why if you have wrinkles in your face when it is in a relaxed position already, other options than Botox are a better choice. For instance, dermal fillers work by puffing out the sagging skin rather than by preventing movement of the muscle that causes wrinkles.
What is in Botox
Botox is made up of three components. The active ingredient is botulinum toxin type A, then there is also a protein called albumen which is present in all human blood and sodium chloride. Because it has the effect of preventing movement in muscles, it can also be used to prevent the kind of muscle spasms caused by some diseases. It is also used be reduce excessive sweating of the underarm area.
How long the treatment lasts
As far as tests can tell, Botox does not travel far through the body before it is absorbed and broken down by the natural processes, similar to how a bruise – blood under the skin – is broken down and dissipates. Of course, the effect of Botox lasts much longer than a bruise does. Once the substance has been absorbed by the body, your wrinkles will return so it is necessary to have another Botox treatment. Some people may find that the returning wrinkles are not quite as deep as they were to start with.
Mostly, Botox injections will last for about 4 months, but certain factors can shorten the time span.
- Damage to the skin by age, sun exposure or smoking
- Facial expressions and structure
- The care taken of your skin, past and present
- Your body’s reaction to the drug. Some people develop antibodies that render the drug almost ineffective.