Many people often hear about Botox® treatments in the news when the latest Hollywood celebrity recently had the procedure done. However, lots of people other than celebrities receive Botox® treatments. In fact, Botox® is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment, with over 6.7 million procedures administered each year. So, you ask…how does Botox® actually work?
For starters, you should understand what Botox® is. Botox® is made from a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. More simply put, it contains tiny amounts of a highly purified botulinum toxin type A protein.
Most people know Botox® for its cosmetic use of reducing wrinkles. Botox® Cosmetic is type of medication known as a neuromodulator. It is an injectable treatment that is used to improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles by relaxing muscle movement. However, beyond aesthetic applications, Botox® is used to treat a variety of other medical and muscular conditions. Botox® can be an effective treatment option for those who suffer extreme sweating, migraines, muscle spasms, tremors, etc. Botulinum toxin has proven to be a successful and valuable therapeutic protein.
Botulinum toxin can be injected into humans in very small concentrations and works by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles, therefore relaxing them. In order for muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. This is released at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten.
An injection of botulinum toxin type A protein, Botox®, prevents the release of acetylcholine, preventing the muscle cells from contracting. Botulinum toxin causes a reduction in normal muscle contraction, allowing the muscles to become less stiff, or the wrinkles to relax and soften. Again, more simply put, when injected into specific areas of the face, Botox® softens muscle movements that over time cause lines and wrinkles, leaving you with a more youthful appearance.
Botox® Cosmetic is FDA-approved and most commonly requested for use in frown lines between the eyes, the forehead, and crow’s feet lines. It is also commonly used to improve the downturned corners of the mouth, a gummy smile, and neck bands.
Patients who receive Botox® Cosmetic treatment will see a decrease in muscle movement within three to five days with full results normally reached within ten days. Reduction of fine lines will happen after a single procedure. Keep in mind that deeper, etched-in wrinkles may take a longer time or multiple treatments to obtain maximum results. Results from Botox® typically last three to four months. At that time, patients begin to notice a gradual increase in muscle movement.
Our Botox® treatments are designed to create a naturally youthful version of you. If you’re interested in the treatment, you can visit our Botox® Treatment page to learn more about what to expect during and after the procedure and to view our before and after pictures. At Vujevich Dermatology Associates, our treatments are performed by one of our physicians or our highly trained nurse practitioner, Lisa Barba, CRNP.
In addition to Botox® treatment, we also specialize in other common cosmetic dermatology treatments, which you can review on our Cosmetic Dermatology page. Vujevich Dermatology Associates offers medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology from some of the most highly trained physicians and clinicians in the greater Pittsburgh area. You can reach our team at 412-429-2570 or visit our contact page to see our locations in Mt. Lebanon and Washington. You can also follow us on Facebook.