Posted on June 13th, 2014
Posted by Julene
Since wrinkles are formed at least in part by crinkling of the skin in the same places over and over due to the activity of the muscles under the skin, it makes sense that we can delay the onset of wrinkles by weakening the muscles themselves. The skin wrinkling process begins even with just “resting muscle tone” actually. Over time, unopposed resting muscle tone and muscle activity cause the thin skin of the eyelids to become “crepy” and allow wrinkles to deepen. In my opinion, even though Botox and Dysport are not permanent in their effects, this does not diminish their overall value as maintenance skin therapy because these agents keep deep wrinkles from forming and have great preventive benefit.
We don’t have to completely paralyze the muscles to relax them, and we can still look normal in animation as a result. It is an absolute myth that Botox or Dysport used correctly “freezes” the face. The goal is to soften the wrinkles at rest, so some wrinkles will actually still appear when squinting or smiling or when elevating the brows or frowning, because again, the muscles are “weakened”, not “paralyzed”. But if you consider how thin the skin is in the face, especially the lower eyelid and crow’s feet area, it is quite easy to understand how the skin begins to look a little crepy in most 30 year-olds. I like my patients to begin to think in a preventive fashion in their early 30’s, or when they begin to see lines around the eyes or on the forehead, and to use Botox or Dysport at that time.
There really aren’t too many side effects of Botox or Dysport. Slight bruising occasionally at the injection site, change of brow position, sagging eyelids are all reported, but fortunately are pretty rare. We do expect to change brow position when we inject the forehead however, so we discuss this with our patients and try to change it in a positive fashion…elevate the outer brow or treat asymmetric eyebrow positions…a “chemical browlift” can be performed.
The cost for Botox or Dysport is about $12 to $14 per unit, and most patients will see effects that last up to 3 or 4 months on average. If a patient keeps up with their injections when they wear off, the results can start to stretch to 4 to 6 months duration. Typical dosage amounts are frown…24 units; crows’ feet…22 to 32 units; forehead…22 to 24 units.
Stay tuned for Tip #3 soon…
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