As we age, our skin undergoes many different changes, one of which is the inevitable appearance of both lines and wrinkles. While we can’t turn back time once these issues appear, we can normally treat them with Botox therapy, which we offer here at Dr. Young Forever in San Antonio, TX at Shavano Park, and in many cases, we can even prevent these types of issues with regularly scheduled treatments.
How Many Times Can You Get Botox?
You shouldn’t need to return for additional injections for at least three to four months after your first, and it’s up to you as to whether you’d like to return as soon as the effects start to wear off or just before this happens. Many of our patients prefer to wait until they notice wrinkles and lines returning, while others schedule regular appointments every three months to maintain their results without any gaps in treatment.
After your first few years of treatment, you might start to notice that you’re needing touch-ups less often. This can happen with time as the medication retrains your muscles on how and when to contract. Years of stress can lead to constant muscle contractions, and this therapy can correct that where you gradually relearn what a relaxed face should feel like.
How Does Botox Correct Lines and Wrinkles?
This treatment relaxes facial muscles by blocking acetylcholine, which is the main neurotransmitter responsible for contracting muscles. Once the muscles are fully relaxed, lines and wrinkles that are formed over time because of contractions have a chance to relax, as the skin is no longer being pushed into certain directions when facial expressions are made.
Also, this medication is capable of increasing collagen levels in the skin, and this too can have an effect on the visibility of lines and wrinkles. Collagen helps to smooth the skin out while making it firmer and more supple. This gives the skin better flexibility so it can more easily bounce back from movements caused by muscle contractions.
Corrective vs. Preventative Treatment
While Botox is well-known as a corrective treatment for both lines and wrinkles, it can also be effectively used to prevent these types of issues as well. Knowing beforehand whether you’d like to take a corrective or preventative approach is key, as a preventative approach can help you avoid some issues before they develop.
A corrective approach can be taken at any time, and you can schedule appointments whenever new skin issues arise. After your first treatment session, the results may last for several months, at which point you can schedule follow-up treatment to maintain the results once you notice the effects starting to weaken.
If you know beforehand that you’d like to prevent new skin issues before they show up, then a preventative approach may be more appropriate for you. When choosing this approach, you can schedule your appointments long in advance to ensure that you always receive touch-up injections before the effects of a previous treatment session wear off.
Consultation and Treatment
Before we get started with your treatment, we’ll want to make sure that this is the right approach for your specific needs. We’ll conduct a brief consultation with you, which allows us to examine your skin texture and any cosmetic issues you may have. We’ll need to know about your medical history, as this medication isn’t appropriate for those with certain blood-clotting diseases or infections.
If we determine that this treatment is right for you, we’ll then start your session by injecting tiny amounts of Botox into the areas where it’s needed, which isn’t normally a painful process and typically takes less than 20 minutes. We’ll ensure that you’re comfortable the entire time, and if you’re sensitive to needles, we can always apply a topical numbing agent beforehand.
How Much Downtime Is There?
One clear advantage that this therapy has over surgery, other than its temporary effects, is the fact that there’s no downtime. You won’t have to stay in bed or avoid your regular activities after treatment, though we will recommend that you refrain from aggravating the treated areas by not massaging or rubbing them. You shouldn’t have any pain after treatment, but you may have a tiny amount of redness that normally goes away within a few days.
How Long Do the Results Normally Last?
Despite Botox’s temporary effects, the results can last quite a while, and some of our patients have experienced results lasting as long as six months. However, a four-month duration of effects is the average time frame for most patients, especially if you’re new to this therapy. Those who enjoy the results for longer periods normally have been receiving treatments for many years, and over time, facial muscles tend to respond better to this treatment where longer-lasting effects are often seen.
One reason for this is that this treatment can help reduce muscle tone in hyperactive muscles, and this can make it easier for the medication to relax these muscles for longer periods once this happens. Another reason is that this treatment can help you relearn how to keep your face relaxed if you’ve been dealing with stress and facial tension for some time, though this process can take a few years.
How Can I Make the Results Last Longer?
A common question we’re often asked by our patients is, “How can the effects of this treatment be extended?” We understand that one of the benefits of Botox is that it’s temporary, making it a safer option than surgery, but this can also be a downside for those who want longer-lasting effects. Some factors that play a role in the duration of the effects are outside of your control, such as your genetics and metabolism.
However, we know that keeping a healthy diet can help boost collagen production in the skin, which can enhance the effects of this medication. There is some evidence that vitamin E can help boost the effects as well. Also, reducing stress in your life can make it easier for your muscles to continue responding to this treatment, and taking good care of your skin by keeping it moisturized, staying hydrated, not smoking, and not suntanning can all help as well.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Good candidates for this therapy normally are:
- In good general health
- Free of skin infections
- Free of blood-clotting issues
- Not pregnant/breastfeeding
- Not hypersensitive to needles
What Types of Lines Are There?
There are different types of lines that can appear on the face, and Botox is not effective for all of them. Here are some of the more common types of lines and how they differ:
These lines appear while making facial expressions because the muscles of the face can push the skin into positions where lines appear. As we get older and our bodies start to produce less collagen, these lines can become more obvious and longer-lasting after making certain facial expressions.
If you’ve ever woken up with lines on your face because it was pressed against a pillow or creased sheet, these are called sleep lines. While they’re normally temporary and disappear within a few hours after waking up, they can sometimes last longer when we become older and our skin becomes less supple.
Deeper than your typical facial lines, gravitational folds are large creases that can appear in the skin and that are formed over time. They’re called such because they’re normally caused by large folds of sagging skin, which is partly because of gravity but more so because of a loss of both elastin and collagen in the skin.
Of these three types of lines, Botox is most effective for expression lines because it relaxes muscles, and these lines are directly caused by muscle contractions. For other types of lines, we may need to explore other treatment options, and we can determine what types of lines or wrinkles you have during our initial consultation with you.
Book Your Appointment Today
If you have expression lines or wrinkles, Botox can be an excellent way to regain your youthful looks as it not only minimizes these types of issues but also rejuvenates the skin by restoring collagen. We can examine any issues you currently have or discuss your aesthetic goals during the consultation, so contact us today at Dr. Young Forever at Shavano Park in San Antonio, TX, to schedule your first appointment, and we’ll be here to help you every step of the way.