Many people think that we should only get Botulinum Toxin treatments, or “Botox“, done after we have developed significant wrinkles on the face. This, however, is a common misconception. In fact, we should be using Botox to prevent the formation of deep wrinkles which develop as we age.
Repeated Muscle Movements Result in Static Wrinkles
Wrinkles form on our faces due to muscle movements made during facial expressions. The movements crease our skin in a direction perpendicular to the muscle movements. For example, when our glabellar muscles contract to pull our eyebrows towards the centre, vertical frown lines form.
Over time, static wrinkles are etched into our skin, the same way a crease forms when we fold a piece of paper. The process is accelerated when our skin becomes dehydrated, or loses elasticity – changes we see with skin aging.
Wrinkle Reduction Through Weakening of Muscle Movements
Botulinum toxin acts on the connection between the neurons (or nerve cells), and the muscles, known as the neuromuscular junction. By blocking the release of the chemical needed to cause muscle movements, known as acetylcholine, it reduces the strength of muscle contraction, and hence the degree of muscle movements, so that the skin creases less, preventing the formation of winkles.
Because it does not plump up existing wrinkles, undergoing just a Botox treatment alone will not be enough to eliminate the wrinkles if they have already formed. If you already have permanent wrinkles, Botox will still reduce the depth of the lines, but it will not work as well as you want it to. You may also need other treatments, such fillers to plump up the skin, or lasers to stimulate collagen. Prevention is better than cure. Hence, it’s always better to start you Botox treatment early before the static lines form. This is especially true if you have very strong facial muscles.
Natural, and Not Frozen with Better Botox Techniques
The biggest fear that people have of Botox is that they’re going to look unnatural after the treatment. Frozen faces after Botox, however, are a thing of the past, at least in my practice. With more customised techniques, we can now achieve very natural results with Botulinum toxin treatments. when done properly, Botox will allow you to look relaxed and rested, instead of frozen and unnatural.
How do you know whether it is time for you should start Botox treatments, or whether you have excessively strong facial muscles? This will require an assessment by your doctor, who will determine the strength of your muscles on facial animation, and give you a recommendation on whether the treatment will be beneficial to you.