The Botox Diary: How Botox Works to Fight Wrinkles

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Article by Cristal G. Orpilla, R.N.

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Botox has been around for many years,  and I remember first learning about it in Pharmacology class in college.  Of course everyone today knows Botox as the miraculous fountain of youth in injectable form.

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What Is Botox?

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Botox is a class of type A neurotoxic protein that is derived from the the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Over the past decade, botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) has increasingly become one of the most popular treatments used to combat signs of aging, specifically the wrinkles of the face.  When used as a small dose injectable into a muscle (like the frown lines of the forehead), Botox works to block the release of Acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine a the neurotransmitter released by nerve cells and is responsible for signaling muscle contraction. When muscles of the face contract, the skin on top of it scrunches into the wrinkles we see.   When this contraction signal is blocked,  muscles are temporarily "frozen" or paralyzed into their relaxed state,  and therefore the overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled. If injected into the correct sites, one would expect the effects of Botox to last 3-4 months,  though there are few that have reported it to last as long as 5-6 months. How long botox lasts depends on many factors,  including the biology of an individual in breaking it down,  or the dose given in a particular area.

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What Is a Botox Procedure Like?

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So what should be expected during an in-office procedure? When receiving Botox injections,  the injector (usually an M.D., N.P., or R.N.) uses a small 30 gauge needle and administers small injections in specific muscle sites.  You should expect it to feel like a quick pinch,  but any discomfort can be reduced by icing the area just prior to the procedure.  Topical anesthesia may be used,  is not necessary. Expect to see small bumps, pinpricks, and maybe slight bruising in areas of injection,  but again,  these are transient and disappear faster with sufficient icing.  It’s important to note that you will not see an immediate softening of the lines, as it takes up toabout a week for Botox to take effect.  Patience is definitely needed the first few days.  Some practitioners may advise you to contract the area a few times to get the Botox into the muscle faster,  but this is not really necessary.  It is also advised you do not rub the treated area, lie down, or do exercise/yoga positions where you are bending forward (ie, downward dog),  as this may spread the Botox to unwanted areas.

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For those who may want to stop frownies from forming, Botox may be just the answer.  You may not be able to find the Fountain of  Youth or stop Father Time and Mother Nature, but at least you can slow aging in its tracks,  if only for a little while.




Credits:

Principles of Cosmetic Dermatology.  Baumann, 2009.

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Cristal

Cristal

Online Editor, Beauty Writer at Beauty-Goodies
As a New York City-based registered nurse with backgrounds in pharmacology, medical research, medical spa aesthetics, and cosmetic dermatology, Cristal became interested in the ways people go about achieving beauty. When she's not working full-time at Cornell Medical Center or performing aesthetic treatments at a midtown NYC medical spa, she daylights as a beauty writer, and has a penchant for scoring sample sale treasures, bellydancing, playing dress-up, and of course, chatting about beauty goodies.
Cristal

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5 thoughts on “The Botox Diary: How Botox Works to Fight Wrinkles

  1. Saintfleur

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  2. Dorinda Naser

    Botox is a preferred injectable drug that decreases the look of deep traces and fine lines and wrinkles on a individual’s encounter. With minimum facet results and exceptional results, it is well-known amongst many who wish to flip back again the effects of time without an invasive surgery, enjoy a face-lift.

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