At Tri-County Medical Clinic, we’re a full-service health provider of family and geriatric medicine . But our patients also want to look their best, so we offer myriad cosmetic services at our extension office, Troy Laser Center. This time of year, as we all head to holiday office parties, family get-togethers, and other events, Botox injections are a popular treatment. After all, who doesn’t want to look years younger when we’re standing beneath the mistletoe or meeting the new regional VP?
WHAT IS BOTOX?
Everyone has heard of Botox. OK, maybe not that guy in the back woods of the U.P. who has 10 wolves for pets, but everyone else. Botox became a famous brand in 2002 when the FDA approved its use for cosmetic treatment of glabellar lines and forehead lines on the upper third of the face (it added approval for crow’s feet in 2011, although it had been used off-label for crow’s feet for years). Every year since that approval, Botox injections have been the world’s most popular cosmetic procedure, surgical and non-surgical.
Why all the adoration? Botox works. It effectively erases crow’s feet, forehead lines, and the 11s between the eyebrows.
HOW DOES BOTOX DO ITS MAGIC?
Botox is made primarily of the botulinum toxin type A. These are the same bacteria that cause botulism, but they can also be found all through the natural world, even in the soil in the woods just down the street. Back in the late 40s, scientists discovered that when the botulinum toxin was injected into a muscle in very minute amounts it temporarily stopped that muscle from contracting. Obviously, this had promise for treating issues such as involuntary eyelid spasms (which was the original FDA approved use of Botox in 1996). Since then, Botox has been approved for a variety of uses: migraine headaches, TMJ disorder, urinary incontinence, even excessive underarm sweating.
When Botox is injected into a muscle it blocks the acetylcholine, the nerve messenger that relays signals from the muscle to the brain. When the brain doesn’t receive the message to contract a certain muscle, the muscle remains at rest.
This is especially relevant on the upper third of the face, the expressive area. This is where we form expressions and the muscles around the eyes, between the brows, and on the forehead all engage. Make a frown and you can feel the muscles. Over time and hundreds of thousands of contractions wrinkles begin to form above the muscle. These form crow’s feet at the outside of our eyes, frown lines between the brows, and forehead lines. When Botox is injected into the muscles creating the 11s between your eyebrows (glabellar lines), for instance, it keeps the muscle relaxed, so the wrinkle that forms above the contracted muscle doesn’t form. The muscle stays relaxed for about four months. At that point, the body will eventually absorb the now-inert Botox and the wrinkles will return. Another injection session with Dr. Wolok will maintain your results.
Interested in looking younger for all of your upcoming parties and such? There’s still time. Call Tri-County Medical Clinic at (586) 979-5100 and make a Botox appointment at our Troy Laser Center. A session takes just 10-15 minutes. Do remember that it usually takes up to 7 days for Botox to fully relax the injected muscles, so allow for that time before your holiday events.