You have probably heard of botox. But do you know the science behind this incredible treatment?
What is Botox?
Botox is a brand name for commercialized, therapeutic botulinum toxin, hence the name. Botulinum toxin is a protein that can be found in naturally occurring bacteria. However, the Botox your dermatologists at Affiliated Dermatologist in Morristown, NJ, use is made in a laboratory.
Toxin makes it sound dangerous. Is Botox harmful?
No! Botox, as used in dermatology (and many other medical contexts), is FDA-approved and very safe. If you are concerned, ask your dermatologists about Botox safety.
How does Botox treat wrinkles?
As you may know, one cause of wrinkles is repeated facial expressions. Over a lifetime, as you contract the same facial muscles over and over again in a pattern, those muscles can develop grooves or lines in that pattern. They start pulling at the skin covering them. At the same time, also because of age, that skin becomes less elastic, making it unable to spring back from the pulling muscles. The combined effect results in facial lines and grooves.
When your New Jersey dermatologists administer Botox, they inject it specifically into the grooved areas. The Botox will relax those facial muscles, which smooths out the skin, thus reducing the lines and wrinkles.
How does Botox relax muscles?
Your muscles have nerves going through them to control their actions. Botox prevents those nerves from telling the muscles to contract.
How does Botox affect nerves?
Your nerves send movement signals to muscles using chemical molecules called neurotransmitters. A neurotransmitter activates its receptor, like a key turning its lock. In particular, there is a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which has corresponding receptors on your muscles. When things are working normally, a nerve releases a dose of acetylcholine directly to a muscle, sending a chemical message telling that muscle to contract, and it does.
Botulinum toxin prevents acetylcholine from being released in the first place. Without acetylcholine to signal muscles to activate, the muscles never get the message that they should be contracting. Without nerves telling your muscles to contract, they'll remain relaxed. And with the muscles relaxed, they no longer form lines and grooves on your face.
Botox is a natural chemical, however, and will eventually be metabolized--broken down--by your body. That's why repeated treatments are needed to maintain results in the long term.
Ready to wipe the wrinkles from your face? Ask the NJ dermatologists at Affiliated Dermatologists & Dermatologic Surgeons, P.A about Botox. Call 973-267-0300 today ... and get ready to put your best face forward!