We'll explain 10 benefits of Botox for anti-aging and how it can age your face or could make you look older if misused.
And, more importantly, what you can do to prevent it.
We use the term “Botox” to describe all brands of botulinum toxins, your practitioner or dermatologist can discuss the best one for your needs.
There are many uses and benefits of botulinum toxin, including medical reasons to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), TMJ, or an overactive bladder.
But the top 10 benefits we love the most is the ability to erase the signs of aging on the face and neck.
What a miracle!
Quick, noninvasive injection(s) can make you look younger, happier and fresher. But if used incorrectly in certain circumstances, it could do the opposite and make you look older, tired, unnatural or just plain strange.
Keep reading below to learn how to avoid this from happening to you.
Botox procedure is the most popular treatment plan to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
The GOOD - Botulinum toxin works by relaxing or paralyzing muscles, so it can't repeatedly contract in the same way over and over, etching lines and wrinkles into the skin.
Injections are strategically placed into certain facial muscles and areas where people see the first signs of aging.
Horizontal frown lines on the forehead and crow's feet around the eyes are the most popular areas for Botox injections.
The BAD - On the downside, reducing muscle contractions could lead to muscle atrophy. This could contribute to facial sagging and other issues – depending on your age, facial structure and the amount of Botox used.
Good News: These days, more injectors try to tailor Botox procedures to individual needs, with a "less is more" approach. This benefits facial muscles, eliminates effects that could age your face, and provides a more natural appearance.
According to Dr. Patricia Wexler, at Wexler Dermatology: "Today there are several forms of purified botulinum toxins with different strength (the size of the area affected by an injection). These differences are useful in our practice, since all muscles have slight variations."
It's important to do your research and consult with a skilled injector who can customize the type and strength of Botox (perhaps in combination with other cosmetic procedures) to provide the best result for your individual needs.
Keep reading below to learn about Botox aging mistakes...
Of the top 10 benefits of Botox, this is the most popular use for facial anti-aging. The forehead is a very expressive area, and lines quickly form due to constant contraction of frontalis muscles. Botox can not only soften forehead lines, but prevent them from getting worse.
This quick treatment erases those tiny lines around the outer corner of the eyes with a small injection or two of Botox. And the good news, this small area requires such a tiny jab, so it doesn't hurt and usually with minimal bruising.
However, eliminating crow's feet with Botox alone may not always solve the problem in certain situations. Click here to learn more.
Frown lines (vertical lines between the brows), have the greatest impact on your face and your attitude. Of all the wrinkles that can benefit from Botox, softening those 11's can make you look instantly younger and happier.
It less than 10 minutes and in 7-10 days you'll look more relaxed, less angry, and some people feel better due to less tension from constantly (and unconscionably) frowning.
But be ready for some pain. This area hurts the most, and some people hear a "crunching" sound as the needle hits the strong inner brow muscle.
Not as common as crow's feet, some people have tiny wrinkles across or on either side of those nose when they smile. Botox can easily erase these, and, like crow's feet, this area requires a small injection, so there's not much pain or bruising.
Just make sure your injector is trained in this area as done incorrectly, it could affect your smile.
Lip lines (sometimes called smoker lines) are very common with age, even if you don't smoke. Lips lines, like frown lines, can really age your face.
A small amount of botulinum toxin injected into the orbicularis oris, which is the circular muscle around your mouth, helps to relax puckering and softens lines.
As we age, the corners of the mouth may start to droop, making us look sad, even when we're not.
Relaxing the muscles on each side of the mouth, (depressor anguli oris, which is responsible for pulling the mouth down) allows the corners of the mouth to lift to their normal position.
According to a report published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Botox injections can increase skin's elasticity and firmness. The benefits were similar to a radiofrequency skin tightening procedure.
This off-lable use is a favorite for those who wish to have slightly poutier lips without fillers. Two to four small injections are placed above the lip (vermilion border) on either side of the cupid's bow.
The botulinum toxin relaxes the muscles around the cupid's bow, causing the upper lip to turn up slightly.
The procedure takes 5-10 minutes and full results can be seen in about 7 days.
Reducing the look of neck cords and bands is right up there with the 10 benefits for anti-aging uses.
Nothing ages you faster than those dreaded vertical neck cords and bands across the neck. They're especially visible when speaking, smiling, or making any movement with your mouth - like eeee.
This off-label technique helps relax neck muscles, making them less obvious, and helps smooth the skin.
A major benefit of Botox is that it works well with many other cosmetic treatments and can even enhance results!
For example, combining Botox with dermal fillers (like Juvederm) to treat lower crow's feet (wrinkles on upper cheeks) helps add volume to the upper cheek area, smooth out wrinkles and provide a more rejuvenated appearance.
These two procedures can be combined in the same office visit, saving time and money.
Note: Botulinum toxins are FDA-approved to treat frown lines and wrinkles in the forehead and crow's feet area.
Some benefits listed above are considered off-label uses... meaning they haven't been approved by the FDA.
For best results, make sure you consult with a board-certified dermatologist or practitioner for safe and quality treatments.
As much as we love the many benefits of Botox for facial aging, there are disadvantages of Botox injections could age your face.
1. Heavy or Droopy Brows
Injecting too much Botox to reduce forehead lines could contribute to ptosis (drooping of the brows) which can make you look strange, and make your eyes look tired or hooded.
Older people (over 50) with weak frontalis muscles, those with naturally low brows, or those have been getting Botox for forehead lines for many years are most susceptible to ptosis.
What to Do: Ask your injector if lowering the dose of Botox might be a better option. You want to just soften forehead lines, not freeze your forehead. Also, ask if Micro Botox is right for you.
2. Under Eye Wrinkles
Using too much Botox to treat crow's feet (the orbicularis muscle) can cause wrinkles and lines to develop under the eyes. If the orbicularis muscles are "too relaxed or frozen" this can cause increased movement in other areas of the eye, resulting in the development of under eye wrinkles.
What to Do:
Ask your injector about using Micro Botox, which is a diluted version of Botox that is injected intradermally. It works just under the skin to smooth out wrinkles and lines, but still allows muscle movement for a natural look.
3. Hollows in Outer Corners of Eyes When Treating Lower Crow's Feet
What are lower crow's feet? They are deep lines that start at the outer corner of the eyes and go all the way down the sides of the cheeks.
Treating this can be challenging, especially in older people or those who have little facial fat.
Injecting large amounts of Botox into the orbucularis oculi muscle (muscle around the eyes) in an attempt to eradicate lower crow's feet can result in a strange hollowing or denting in the outer corner of the eyes.
In addition, there's a chance the cheek elevators might be affected, which can affect your smile and flatten the cheeks.
What to Do:
Speak to your injector about using a two-pronged approach.
The use of Micro Botox or Baby Botox to soften crow's feet lines and fillers to add volume to the temples and/or the lateral upper cheek might provide better results and rejuvenate the face for a younger, natural look.
4. More Wrinkles
Too much Botox is injected in any one area to the point of not being able to move that muscle will almost always result in more wrinkles in other areas or a strange asymmetrical look when making normal facial expressions.
For example: If the muscles in the forehead or between the brows (the 11's) areas are frozen, other muscles like nasalis lines (muscles on each side of your nose) or muscles around the eyes may overcompensate when you make natural facial expressions. Over time, this can cause wrinkling to form in those areas.
What to Do: Freezing any part of your face to eliminate wrinkles is never a good idea if you want a natural look. Facial movement with a few lines gives your face a youthful, natural, and appealing appearance.
Instead of using Botox to eradicate ALL facial wrinkles, pick an area or two that really bothers you and try a small amount of Botox to soften, not freeze those areas.
TIP: Softening the vertical lines (glabellar lines or the 11's) that develop between your eyebrows usually has the most dramatic impact on your appearance and can make most people look less angry and fresher.
There are still some providers who do not evaluate or consider individual facial structure, issues, or age (which is very important).
As a result, they can be very "heavy-handed" when it comes to Botox dosing, causing one to look older or just plain odd.
So what if your provider was a little over aggressive with Botox injections, and you're wondering is there a way to get rid of Botox faster?
Unfortunate, no. Botox can take 3-6 months to dissipate and unfortunately, you'll have to wait it out.
But, next time, do the research and consult with your provider to make sure you get the best treatment for your needs.
Q: Can I drink after Botox injections? Sometimes I'd like a glass of wine with dinner?
A: You might wish to refrain from drinking alcohol for at least 24-48 hours before and after hours after Botox or any cosmetic injections. Alcohol acts as a blood thinner, which could cause increased bruising at the injection site. Check with your doctor for more details.
Q: Can Botox reverse aging?
A: No. While the benefits of Botox can help temporally soften or erase current signs of face aging, it won't reverse it permanently. Your skin and facial muscles will still continue to age. And if you stop getting Botox injections, your skin will revert to its normal state. Eventually skin aging will catch up, however, wrinkles and lines may not be as deep.
Q: What are the 3 areas for Botox in the face?
A: The 3 popular areas Botox benefits face aging the most are forehead wrinkles, crow's feet wrinkles and frown lines (the vertical '11' between the eyebrows).
Q: Does Botox give you good skin?
A: It looks like a temporary benefit of Botox includes firmer skin, according to a report published by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery. Researchers found that Botox injections increased skin elasticity and pliability. But, once the Botox action wore off (in a few months), the skin returned to its original condition.
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