When it comes to anti-aging therapies, Botox is the most trusted because it’s highly effective and has been widely tested. One of the things that make this treatment so safe is the fact that the effects gradually wear off, though here at Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA, we can help you maintain these effects with regularly scheduled treatments. If you’re new to this therapy, here’s how it works and how long the results typically last.
How Long Does Botox Last?
The effects of Botox should normally last about 4 months, though this time frame can vary based on different factors. How quickly your body metabolizes this medication is one factor, as the body gradually breaks it down and removes it over time. Another factor is your lifestyle, because certain things, such as smoking, excessive exposure to sunlight, and a poor diet, can all affect the health of your skin as well as how long this medication lasts.
After many years of regular treatments, some of our patients have experienced many longer-lasting effects, and the results often last as long as six months when this is the case. This normally occurs after the skin and muscles have both become more responsive to the injections with regularly scheduled treatments. Over time, the muscles can become more naturally relaxed, and the skin can become more supple.
What Is Botox Cosmetic Therapy?
As a muscle-relaxing medication, Botox works by blocking neurotransmitters that lead to muscle contractions. This makes it a versatile treatment that’s used for many different medical conditions, though its most popular use worldwide is as a cosmetic therapy. As the muscles relax, wrinkled skin nearby relaxes as well. This can lead to fewer lines, diminished wrinkles, and a revitalized look, which can have many benefits on a person’s social and work life.
The medication itself is administered with injections directly into muscles, and treatment sessions with this therapy are normally repeated regularly because its effects are temporary. This, and the fact that it’s performed on an outpatient basis with no sedatives or surgery, make it a safe and quick solution to address many of the tell-tale signs of aging.
How Soon Do the Effects Start?
After the injections, it can take a few days for Botox to start working, though you may not notice the full effects for at least two weeks. It’s at this point that the muscles begin to fully relax, which allows the skin to retract back from its wrinkled position. This can then help reduce the appearance of lines, and as an added benefit, you may start to notice your skin softening as collagen levels begin to increase from the injections.
Not everybody responds as quickly to this medication as others because different factors, including your genetics, your metabolism, your lifestyle, and how much medication is injected, can all play a role in how quickly it starts to work. If you had increased stress levels in your daily life before treatment, this too can delay the effects in some cases because stress can cause increased levels of neurotransmitters in the body that contribute to muscle tension.
How Often Will I Need Treatments?
How often you return for additional treatments is entirely your choice, as we have patients who prefer to only receive occasional treatments and those who return regularly throughout the year. Both of these approaches have benefits, though here’s how they differ:
If you choose to only return for occasional treatments, also known as corrective treatments, you can do this whenever you’re noticing lines, wrinkles, or other issues returning. The main benefit of this approach is that it can be more convenient, as you can schedule appointments only when you feel you truly need them.
One of the advantages of regular treatments, which is also a disadvantage of occasional treatments, is that you can treat your issues before they’re a problem. Rather than having a gap between treatments where your lines and wrinkles might be visible to others, you can regularly treat problematic areas, even before old issues return or new issues appear.
What Types of Issues Can It Treat?
Noticeable lines that appear beside your eyes and that are especially prominent when squinting are called crow’s feet or lateral canthal lines. Treating these lines normally only requires small amounts of Botox, and the results are often excellent.
One of the most common areas where lines appear for both men and women in their 30s and 40s is the forehead, and these lines, which most know as “stress lines,” are caused by the frontalis muscle, which is normally very responsive to this treatment.
Frown lines, which are sometimes referred to as “11 lines” because they resemble this number, are vertical lines that run parallel to each other between the eyebrows, though their technical name is glabellar lines. These lines can usually be treated very effectively with anywhere between three to seven injections, depending on their depth and how many there are.
Regardless of what types of lines you have, whether they’re on your nose, near your mouth, throughout your chin, or elsewhere, we’ll be able to assess them during your consultation to gauge how effective this therapy might be or whether another treatment might be more effective.
What Happens During Treatment?
Before starting your treatment, we’ll carry out a consultation with you, which allows us to ensure that you have the right expectations for this treatment and that you’re not on any medications that can cause issues with bleeding. We’ll typically ask you a few questions and assess your skin, as well as any cosmetic conditions you might have.
After the initial consultation, we’ll prepare your skin by cleansing the areas to be treated with a light sanitizer. Although the injections aren’t normally very painful, we can also apply a numbing agent at this time if you feel that you may need it or have sensitive skin.
Once we start your treatment, you may feel a slight pinprick sensation as we inject the needle into your muscles. We’ll normally make about two to three injections in each target area, though the whole process shouldn’t normally take longer than 10 minutes.
After the injections, that’s it. You’ll be all finished and ready to return to your normal activities as soon as you leave our clinic. We’ll provide you with a short list of general precautions you should take over the next few days after treatment, such as not rubbing the injection areas, avoiding excessive sunlight, and not lying down on your face for the first four hours.
What Are the Benefits of This Therapy?
Rejuvenates Aging Skin
By reducing the visibility of both lines of wrinkles, as well as stimulating collagen and making the skin more supple, this treatment can rejuvenate aging skin for a fresher, more vibrant appearance. Many long-lasting texture issues often respond well to this therapy once tense muscles no longer stretch the skin.
After your treatments, you’ll likely start to notice improvements in your appearance as you look in the mirror after the first few weeks. You may even receive compliments from others about how young you look for your age, and all of these things can help boost your self-confidence.
Prevents Future Imperfections
Patients who receive regular treatments two to three times a year can prevent many future imperfections, whether it’s lines, wrinkles, or rough-looking skin. Maintaining relaxed muscles and keeping collagen levels high in the skin can help delay many of the tell-tale signs of aging.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting Botox treatment, you may start to notice improvements in your relationships with others. Not only can this treatment make a person look younger, which can boost attractiveness, but it can make you look less tired, which can improve how coworkers and others in professional working relationships perceive you.
Get Started Today
Botox is a safe cosmetic therapy for treating lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, and the results can last quite a while before retreatments are needed. Contact us today at Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA to get started with your initial consultation, and we’ll be here to help you on your path back to beautiful skin and renewed self-confidence.