When you’re trying to decide between various options for improving the look and feel of your face, you want to find out everything you can about the products and procedures used. You’ll want to know the science behind the procedures to make sure that you fully understand how each procedure will work and whether it’s the right option for you. Here, we’ll go through the history and mechanisms of BOTOX to help you understand exactly what’s happening and how the seemingly magical process works.
Origins of BOTOX
BOTOX contains very small amounts of a highly purified botulinum toxin protein. It comes from the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, an organism found in nature. As its name implies, the botulinum toxin protein is, in large doses, toxic, so its use as a medical and cosmetic treatment was quite a breakthrough in medical research—scientists found a way to use a natural toxin to our advantage.
Mechanisms of BOTOX
To understand how BOTOX works to combat wrinkles, you have to understand how wrinkles work. Wrinkles are formed naturally: with time, age, sun exposure, and reduction of collagen. However, they are also caused actively, by the contraction of your facial muscles. When you are stressed, worried, concentrated, or upset, your facial muscles contract and fold the skin, leaving wrinkles behind.
BOTOX targets these muscular contractions, both reversing and preventing wrinkles. Basically, when the BOTOX is injected directly into the muscle, it blocks signals from the nerves that tell the muscle to contract, so the muscle is forced to relax, thus relaxing and softening the wrinkle caused by the contraction.
The BOTOX procedure is fairly short and simple—the entire process should take about ten minutes. To begin, your specialist might ice the treatment area or apply a topical numbing agent. However, injections have been described as feeling like a pinch, so most individuals do not require much numbing. Once ready, your specialist will administer the injections, and you’ll be good to go. You will be able to immediately return to your normal daily routine, and you may notice results within 24-48 hours. The results will be noticeable after 1-2 weeks.
The first round of injections should last about 4-6 months, at which point you will need a second treatment. Over time, with repeated treatments, your wrinkles should become more permanently relaxed.
Many clients love the ease and simplicity of the treatments. Only having to come in about once every 6 months for something that is considered a “lunchtime procedure,” along with the minimal discomfort experienced during the treatment, make it a great alternative to surgical procedures.
Effectiveness and Safety
BOTOX is one of the most thoroughly and extensively studied medical aesthetic treatments. It has been approved for cosmetic use in 78 countries and has an excellent track record in its use over the years.
The effectiveness and safety of BOTOX has been evaluated in Allergan-sponsored clinical trials as well as in 417 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals. This credibility makes it a trusted product used by aesthetic specialists in millions of procedures in the United States