Since we just had the Oscars a few weeks back, we’ve had our fill of celebrity watching. And while we don’t get all that many celebrities here in Grand Rapids, we do offer one celebrity right here in our offices at Elite Plastic Surgery.
That’s right. Botox is more famous than just about any movie star. Think about it. While everyone has heard of Botox, who can name the stars of The Shape of Water? We thought so.
Botox is so big that it’s easy to assume it’s been around forever. That is true, just not for the reasons you know it for — erasing wrinkles on the upper third of the face. Botox has been around since the 1950s for treating involuntary muscle contractions, such as those that afflict the eyelids. These days, Botox is even being used to treat migraine headaches and urinary incontinence.
But it was 2002 when Botox became famous. That was the year the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic use in the treatment of wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead. Since then, Botox injections have become the single most popular cosmetic treatment year after year all across the globe. Even here in little old Grand Rapids! Botox is now more well-known than most of the celebrities who swear by it.
Why all the adulation? Botox works. It effectively turns back the clock on facial aging, particularly in the areas around the eyes and on the forehead, reducing or eliminating the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How does Botox work?
Despite its fame, some people still don’t understand how Botox works. Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin type A, the bacteria that cause botulism.
Decades ago scientists discovered that the neurotoxin, when injected in very small amounts into a muscle, temporarily paralyzes that muscle. This is important in the aesthetic world because certain wrinkles and creases on the face are caused by the repeated contractions of muscles. These are called dynamic wrinkles. Actions such as smiling, squinting, and frowning create dynamic wrinkles. So, when Botox is injected into a muscle forming a wrinkle, it blocks the message sent from the nerve to the brain telling the muscle to contract. Without any message, the muscle doesn’t contract, so the wrinkle above it either disappears or becomes far less noticeable. This continues for four to six months, at which time the body eventually absorbs the Botox and the muscles start to contract once again, and the wrinkles return.
What wrinkles is Botox effective on?
Botox isn’t a star when it comes to static wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that show themselves at all times. Static wrinkles are the result of spending one too many weekends at Crystal Lake or Sleeping Bear Dunes, coupled with things like a decrease in our body’s production of collagen. These are wrinkles such as marionette and parentheses lines around your mouth or smile lines. Static wrinkles aren’t caused by muscle contractions, and they are the domain of dermal fillers such as Juvederm. Instead, Botox is very effective on wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), forehead lines, and lines that form between the brows (the 11s).
What occurs following treatment with Botox?
A Botox session at Elite takes just a few minutes. There is no downtime, although there may be some slight swelling and redness at the injection sites. Patients also need to avoid rubbing the injected areas for 12 hours, as that can cause the Botox to migrate to unwanted spots. Results usually take from three to seven days to fully show themselves.
Want to tell your crow’s feet to get lost? Call the team at Elite, (616) 459-1907, and let’s talk about Botox.