In Los Angeles, Botox is used by many high profile individuals for anti aging purposes, especially when the longevity of their careers is highly contingent on their appearance.
However it is also used by many individuals who are not necessarily striving for the highest aesthetic standards, but simply want to achieve subtle corrections to help them look younger and more energized.
Botox is a protein that is derived from the Clostridium bacteria. However, before it is packaged as drug, it undergoes a purification process, removing unnecessary structures that could cause unwanted effects once it is injected.
It is important to gain a basic idea of how muscles and nerves interact before understanding how Botox improves the appearance of wrinkles.
As we interact with the world around us, centers in the brain process input from the environment and produce emotional reactions. These reactions are communicated through nerve fibers that connect to the muscles, resulting in various forms of movement.
In the face, emotions are expressed through muscle contractions. As we get older, our skin starts to lose its firmness and elasticity. So when we smile, frown or raise our brows, facial muscles will cause the skin to crease. Dynamic wrinkles appear when the muscles are moving. Over the course of time, creases from the dynamic wrinkles will become etched onto the skin as permanent wrinkles.
Botox blocks the release of a chemical called acetylcholine which is secreted by the nerve cells when they signal the muscles to contract. When these muscles are relaxed, the overlying skin remains smooth.
In 1989, Botox received FDA approval for the treatment of eye muscle spasms. However the improvement of crows feet lines was evident in many of these patients. This is how the application of Botox for these wrinkles first started. After further research it was finally approved by the FDA in 2002 as an anti wrinkle treatment for cosmetic purposes.
Crows feet lines radiate from the outer corner of the eyes when we laugh, squint or smile. They are caused by muscles called orbicularis oculi, which surround the eye area.
Injecting Botox into these muscles at the appropriate sites significantly reduces the appearance of these lines.
Frown lines are caused by the corrugator muscles between the brows which contract towards the middle, producing vertical creases. Many individuals opt for Botox to get rid of these lines because of the harness that is created in their facial expressions.
Botox helps the glabellar muscles to stay relaxed instead of being overly apparent.
When injected into the frontalis muscles, of the forehead, Botox can remove the horizontal lines and general droopiness of the skin in this area.
The strategic placement of these injections allows Botox to improve different types of forehead lines.
Raised brows are a sign of youth and they can make individuals look more refreshed and awake.
Botox can actually raise the eyebrows by a few millimeters. According to Dr. Umar, patients can actually decide how high they want them to be. This is accomplished by injecting the depressor muscles which pull the medial ends of the brows downward.
This patient in Los Angeles received Botox injections to achieve a subtle but significant improvement in her appearance. These injections were administered within the standard areas in the upper part of her face. As you can see from the before and after pictures, this resulted in a revitalized, natural looking transformation.
Here is the video which documents her experience.
Botox typically lasts between 3-4 months. Once the injection wears off, the original wrinkles will still exist with the same size and depth that were apparent before the procedure.
It is essential that Botox is administered by trained, board certified medical physicians in order for patients to experience safe and successful results. As with any medical procedure, there are risks of adverse consequences.
Side effects of Botox include
Patients need to avoid Botox if they are pregnant, have allergies to the proteins in the Botox molecule or if they have pre-existing neurological conditions.