By: Jenna Trubschenck, M.S. PA-C
Some facial wrinkles, such as horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines (or “elevens”), and crow’s feet are caused by muscle contractions that happen hundreds of times each day and imprint into our skin. These types of wrinkles are considered to be “dynamic”, and, although sometimes they can be endearing, sometimes they can become a little more prominent than one might like. The best approach if you want to decrease or eliminate these wrinkles is with a neurotoxin.
Now, I know the word “neurotoxin” sounds scary. But the safety of Botox (and similar products) is well studied. That being said, please get your Botox or Dysport done by a medical professional, not in someone’s garage or at a “Botox party”, as problems can arise if it is not administered correctly. Botox and Dysport are both derivatives of the neurotoxin botulinum toxin A, produced from different strains of highly purified bacterium Clostridium botulinum. These are highly purified, and, when used properly, there is no botulism risk, but they block the nerves that contract the muscles, thus softening the appearance of these wrinkles. They’ve been in observational studies since 1979 and have been FDA approved since 1989, with expanding indications over the past 20 years.
Treatment with Botox and Dysport is appropriate for the “dynamic wrinkles” that happen over time. Not only do they help temporarily ease or eliminate the wrinkles previously mentioned, but they can also improve bunny lines, perioral lines, the mental crease, horizontal neck lines, mouth frown, they can round a square face, and can even lift eyebrows. From a dermatological perspective, in addition to wrinkles, Botox and Dysport can also improve hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the armpits, hands, or feet and can be a good way to manage this issue if it cannot be managed by topical agents such as prescription antiperspirants. Although full effect can take up to 2 weeks to be seen, results can be visible as soon as 2-3 days. Even more dramatic results can be achieved with use over time.
Botox is even becoming more popular among men, as remaining youthful is not only always in style, but also can give a competitive advantage in the workplace. Many more men are now recognizing this, and a much larger percentage of our male patients are now maintaining their appearance with Botox or Dysport.