Aging is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the skin imperfections that come with it. Here at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA, we’ve successfully treated many of our patients’ fine lines and wrinkles with BOTOX, the most popular and widely tested anti-aging injectable. Because its effects eventually wear off, it’s considered to be a safe therapy, but the results can also last quite a long time before retreatments are needed.
How Long Does BOTOX Last?
After being treated with BOTOX, the results typically last around three to four months, though in some cases the effects can last as long as six months. Although this medication can directly paralyze muscles, it can also lead to more long-term muscle-relaxing benefits. When many patients first start treatment, their facial muscles are tense and have naturally been trained to stay this way because of daily stress in their lives.
With regular treatments over time, the muscles can be retrained to naturally relax, which can extend the results of this therapy for much longer periods. When your facial muscles are hyperactive, this can also lead to increased muscle tone, and this can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. As your muscles become more relaxed with this therapy, it can improve muscle tone as well, which can also lead to longer-lasting results.
How Does BOTOX Therapy Work?
As muscle-relaxing therapy, BOTOX is injected directly into facial muscles, which blocks neurotransmitters that cause muscle contractions. This effect leads to fewer lines and wrinkles, as the skin is no longer being pushed around by these muscles when making facial expressions. You’ll still be able to smile, frown, and make other expressions, but your muscles will respond less when doing so, which can also improve tension in the face.
Another way this treatment works is by stimulating collagen, which is an important protein that contributes to skin health. As we age, our bodies slowly produce less collagen each year, which is one of the main reasons why imperfections begin to surface as our skin starts to lose its supple texture. This therapy can encourage the body to produce high levels of collagen again, which can gradually smooth the skin and improve its appearance.
What Skin Issues Can Be Treated With BOTOX?
Large forehead lines are often one of the first signs of aging that many of our patients experience, as these appear with facial expressions early in life and can become more prominent once a person is in their 30s or even sooner. Although they’re often called “worry lines” and “stress lines,” many different types of facial expressions can cause them, but, luckily, they’re also quite easy to treat in most cases.
Lines that occur in the center of the face between the eyebrows are “frown lines,” which are technically called glabellar lines, and we regularly treat these as well. These lines can appear at any age when squinting or making other facial expressions, but with older age, they can stick around long after you’ve stopped making expressions.
Periorbital wrinkles and lateral canthal lines are the lines and wrinkles that develop near the outer corners of the eyes, though most people know them simply as “crow’s feet.” These imperfections can often give away a person’s age because they’re more common for those who are in their mid-30s or older.
If you have lines or wrinkles elsewhere, such as on the nose, around the mouth, on the chin, or anywhere else on the face, or if you have other cosmetic issues, we’ll be able to assess these during your consultation to see if this approach is the right one for you.
What Will Happen During My Appointment?
When you arrive for treatment, we’ll need to conduct a quick consultation beforehand. This is just an opportunity for us to discuss your reasons for wanting this therapy and to ensure that you don’t have any medical conditions that might make this treatment unsafe. We’ll also want to make sure that you’re not taking any medications that might not be safe when receiving injections.
We can get started with your treatment immediately after your consultation. This typically involves quick injections into the target muscles that are contributing to your wrinkles or lines, which should only take about 10 to 15 minutes in most cases.
Most patients tolerate the injections quite well, and there shouldn’t be any pain, but we can always treat your skin with the topical numbing solution before starting treatment if you have sensitive skin. Afterward, you can return to most regular activities, though we’ll provide some basic aftercare precautions you should take, such as not rubbing the injection sites immediately after your treatment.
How Soon Will I See Improvements?
Many of our patients experience the first signs of improvement within the first few days after treatment, but it often takes a few weeks for this to occur. Your metabolism, muscle tone, and other factors can play a role in this, and if you regularly experience stress in your life, this, too, can be a factor.
Stress increases the neurotransmitters in our bodies that contribute to muscle tension, so if you have high levels of these neurotransmitters when you come in for treatment, it can take some time for your body to naturally deplete them, which is when BOTOX Harrisonburg VA can work most effectively. This medication blocks your body from producing more of these neurotransmitters, but it does not affect those that have already been produced and are circulating in your body before treatment.
How Can I Extend the Results of This Therapy?
Light cardio or other forms of exercise can be a great way to keep your skin healthy and muscles relaxed. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin and reduces stress, both of which can enhance the effects of this therapy.
This therapy not only relaxes muscles but also stimulates collagen, though daily stress can counter this effect. Stress can deplete the skin of collagen and cause more muscle tension, both of which can weaken the effects of this treatment.
Smoking can have a detrimental effect on the skin, as it constricts blood vessels, which prevents the skin from receiving nutrients and oxygen. This can work against the positive skin-softening effects of this treatment.
Using gentle skin care regimens, such as dermatologist-recommended moisturizers, can also help to extend the effects of this treatment. By keeping your skin moisturized, this medication doesn’t have to work quite as hard to keep lines and wrinkles in check.
Our skin’s texture is easily affected by what we eat because we get most of our nutrients from food. You should therefore maintain a healthy diet and drink water regularly to keep your skin supple, which can make it more responsive to this treatment.
Although we get much of our vitamin D from sunlight, and this is very healthy for our skin, too much exposure to sunlight and its UV rays can affect the texture of our skin and lead to more lines, which can’t always be easily treated. You should therefore use sunblock whenever spending a lot of time outside on sunny days.
Drinking alcohol regularly or binge drinking can have devastating effects on the health of your skin, which can reverse many of the benefits you receive from this therapy. Alcohol dehydrates the skin while you’re drinking it and leads to muscle tension in the days afterward, both of which shorten this medication’s effects.
Is This Treatment Right for Me?
If you have lines and wrinkles that are associated with facial expressions, you’re likely a perfect candidate for the therapy. However, you must also be in good general health and not have any allergies to anesthetics or this medication.
You shouldn’t have any contraindicated conditions, such as neuromuscular disorders, active skin infections, or blood-clotting issues. Also, if you’re currently pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll have to wait before undergoing this therapy.
Schedule With Us Today
Long-lasting and effective, BOTOX has helped millions of people reduce the signs of aging, and its effects can usually be maintained with regularly scheduled treatments. To start your path toward a younger-looking appearance, schedule your consultation today by contacting us at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA.