Getting older doesn’t have to mean having to live with the negative signs of aging. Seeing your changing skin reflect fine lines and wrinkles can be discouraging and stressful, but there are innovative and scientifically proven ways to help you fight the toll time is taking on your face. Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA can discuss your concerns and options, including the many benefits of BOTOX.
What Causes Signs of Aging?
The passage of time causes us to grow older, but why does our skin change with age? A decrease in collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid plays the biggest role in our changing appearance. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, making up our skin and connective tissue. It’s responsible for the solid structure of our skin, giving us a youthful contour and taut appearance.
Collagen works hand in hand with elastin, which allows our skin to be elastic, prevents it from stretching out and keeps it bouncing back in place. Hyaluronic acid attaches to water molecules, helping our skin attract and retain moisture for a supple and dewy look. Just about the time we turn 18, our production of these powerhouses starts to decrease by about 1% per year. Over time, this leads to loss of volume and elasticity in our skin.
When there’s a loss of volume or structure in our skin, no matter how small, the surface falls to fill it in, creating wrinkles. As elastin depletes, the skin covering our muscles that used to bounce back after movement shows lines after years of repeated facial expressions, creating dynamic wrinkles. One of the many benefits of BOTOX is being able to smooth out these types of wrinkles.
What Is BOTOX?
BOTOX is an injectable that uses an active element from a purified protein of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It works as a neuromodulator and blocks nerve signals from reaching specific, targeted muscles. It was first approved by the FDA for the treatment of strabismus (crossed eyes) and blepharospasm (excessive blinking).
From there, it was discovered this treatment could block nerve signals from reaching other muscles, leading to the breakthrough of more cosmetic benefits of BOTOX.
The FDA acknowledged this application of BOTOX and approved it to be used to temporarily reduce the appearance of frown lines in adults. Since then, it has been proven effective on other areas of the face with dynamic wrinkles.
What Are the Benefits of BOTOX?
This treatment is one of the rare discoveries that has crossed over from helping medical conditions to cosmetic concerns and back again. Many people think this treatment is strictly cosmetic, but in actuality, the benefits of BOTOX go beyond aesthetic.
We’ve talked about its initial uses to help people suffering from excessive blinking, crossed eyes and even lazy eye. In fact, it was the first-ever microbial injection to treat disease.
In crossed eyes, for example, one muscle in the eye becomes permanently tight, causing that eye to look in one direction. An injection of BOTOX relaxes that muscle, allowing the eyes to straighten, and any blurred vision to correct itself. The same is true of eyelid spasms and a lazy eye.
In 2010, the FDA approved the use of BOTOX to treat chronic migraines. Chronic migraine sufferers, under this classification, are people who experience 15 or more migraines per month, and the more often the headaches, the better the results.
BOTOX is injected around the pain fibers that cause headaches. It finds the nerve endings and blocks the release of chemicals that transmit pain. This form of treatment prevents the trigger of pain networks in the brain. It may take two to three treatments to see significant results, but most patients see a reduction of about 50% in their number of headaches.
Another of the surprise benefits of BOTOX is helping people who suffer from excessive sweating. The FDA has approved it for excessive underarm sweating and some doctors are getting “off label” results on other areas of the body like the hands and feet. The condition, known as hyperhidrosis, refers to any excessive sweating like soaking through clothes, dripping sweat or sweating when it’s not hot.
If prescription antiperspirants haven’t worked, and a patient is embarrassed or their quality of life is affected by this condition, they should speak to their doctor about BOTOX as a remedy. BOTOX works to block the nerves that activate the sweat glands.
Fine Lines, Wrinkles, and Folds
This is the category most people associate with BOTOX. This form of treatment works to smooth out dynamic wrinkles. Over the decades, we make the same facial expressions over and over with specific muscles. The skin over those muscles goes along for the ride each time we make an expression and, over time, can look like a road map of those movements.
BOTOX, when injected into those targeted muscles, prevents the nerve signal from reaching them. When the impulse to move has been halted or reduced, the muscle relaxes. As the muscle eases, the skin on top of it has time to smooth. Patients see results in many areas of concerns like:
- Frown lines
- Marionette lines
- Nasolabial folds
- Bunny lines
- Crow’s feet
Results take up to a week to become visible and last between 3-4 months.
Over time, our brow area can droop, making us appear tired and aged. One of the benefits of BOTOX is being able to precisely target specific muscles for the desired result. If the muscles of the frown lines between the brows are relaxed, your forehead muscles can then lift that area, giving it an elevated appearance.
The end of the eyebrows can also be treated so that the forehead is allowed to lift that portion, giving the brows an elevated arch. This can all be done with injections and without the cost and downtime associated with surgery. While the results are temporary, you can schedule follow-up appointments so the effects can be seamless.
What to Expect
Because BOTOX is minimally invasive, there is no preparation and no downtime. You may be asked to pause taking blood-thinning herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. On the day of your session, show up with a clean face and no makeup.
Your provider may apply a numbing agent to the treatment site or apply an ice pack to maximize your comfort. A series of injections will be given to the targeted muscles.
You’ll be able to go back to your normal routine immediately afterward. Results will appear in about a week and last 3-4 months. Talk to your skincare professional about the right maintenance schedule for you so your results can be seamless.
BOTOX and others like it aren’t the only injectables that can help turn back the hands of time without surgery. Talk to your doctor or skincare specialist about options for your specific areas of concern.
Dermal Fillers are a popular choice for smoothing out wrinkles, creases, and folds because there is no downtime and the results are immediate. These injectables work on those areas that have had a loss of volume where your skin has sunken in to fill those voids, causing wrinkles.
Dermal fillers like Juvederm use a gel form of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the body that helps the skin attract and keep moisture, to passively build up the lost volume.
Types of Fillers
When you speak with your specialist about your specific concerns, they may recommend several dermal fillers. There are many fillers available, and each one is designed to do something different, so an effective treatment plan can include multiple injectables. Fillers have been proven effective for several concerns, including:
- Moderate to deep lines and wrinkles
- Nasolabial folds
- Loss of volume in the cheeks, temples and under the eyes
- Vertical lip lines
- Thinning lips
Some fillers’ results can last up to a year, so making routine follow-up appointments can keep your face looking younger and refreshed.
Other Anti-Aging Treatments
Fine lines, wrinkles and volume loss aren’t the only areas of concern with aging. Many of us see imperfections we would like to address, like:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Uneven skin tone
- Uneven skin texture
- Acne scarring
- Unwanted facial hair
There are an array of services and treatments to help even tone, fill in scars and bring vitality back to an aging complexion. Many of these treatments work by boosting collagen production. Certain treatments “trick” the body into thinking it has been injured and, while you don’t feel injured, your body’s natural healing process is triggered. Your skin produces collagen while regenerating new cells to replace the old, dull, damaged and dead cells.
As you’re discussing options with your skin care specialist, tell them about your specific concerns and what you’d like your result to be. They can develop a treatment plan to target the imperfections you’re unhappy with. Ask them about:
- Microneedling with PRP treatment
- Laser hair reduction
- Professional chemical peels
- Fraxel laser treatment
Faces aren’t the only area that people may be unhappy with, no matter their age. We can eat well and follow an exercise routine and still have areas we wish were a bit more sculpted. Certain areas can be more resistant to exercise and are known for having stubborn fat that is notoriously hard to get rid of.
How it Works
SculpSure uses laser light to warm the adipose fat tissue, eventually destroying and permanently removing it from the body. Results aren’t immediate because it takes time for your body to metabolize the destroyed cells. But once the cells are gone, they’re gone for good, and the treated areas will take on a more contoured shape.
This treatment also stimulates the production of collagen, so your newly slimmed shape will have a smooth and tighter appearance as new skin cells are regenerated. Some clients may get the results they want after just one treatment, while others may opt for multiple sessions to maximize their results. All results depend on the client and the area to be treated.
Call for a Consultation
Whether you want to discuss BOTOX or are looking for an overall consultation to address multiple areas of concern, you can take control of your own aging process. You no longer have to grin and bear it as you see the signs of aging reflected in the mirror.
Call Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA to make an appointment with one of their caring and professional experts. They want to partner with you to ensure you reach your goals and develop a deeper sense of well-being both inside and out. A more confident, self-assured and younger-looking you is just a phone call away.