Does Botox Make You Age Faster
It’s a well-known fact that we age at different rates depending on our genetics — some people are just naturally more prone to wrinkling than others. But did you know that there may be an additional factor involved? Some experts say that using Botox can actually make us look older faster by delaying the aging process. The theory goes like this: If your body doesn’t have to work hard for something, it won’t expend as much energy doing so, which means the body wastes less oxygen and produces fewer antioxidants (like superoxide dismutase) to fight off free radicals. So if you decide to stop using Botox after injecting, those muscles staying out of use while Botox is active can delay the aging process; it reduces movement when injected, slows down the formation of wrinkles”¦
Botox and Wrinkles
So what does all this mean for facial users who want to stay wrinkle-free without having to spend time in front of a mirror each day? According to Dr. David Farber, author of “Cosmetic Surgery Simplified,” it could mean big bucks for Botox users.
Farber says he thinks it might be possible to extend the effects of Botox by keeping certain parts of the face still while other areas age normally. He suggests starting with the forehead, then moving up to the cheeks and finally working on the chin area. “The main idea is to keep the muscle tone high where you want to maintain good skin texture and where you don’t want wrinkles,” he says.
To do this, Farber injects his patients’ foreheads first with Botox, followed by their cheekbones. Then, he adds, “the problem is how to get enough Botox into the lower half of the face.” He uses a technique called small volume large dose, or SVLD, which involves taking 100 cc worth of Botox and dividing it into five separate injections instead of giving one huge shot to cover everything. This way, the injection will end up being spread over a wider surface area of the lower part of the face, allowing the patient to avoid wrinkles in these areas, but also allow the upper portion to retain its youthful appearance.
Another thing about getting older: It takes longer to see results from the procedure because it can take several weeks before the toxin starts showing up. And even though most people experience immediate relief from the effects of Botox, Farber cautions against using the drug too often. “I would suggest no more than every three months,” he says. “Otherwise, the effect wears off prematurely and the result becomes inconsistent.”
According to Dr. Paul M. Faris, director of cosmetic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Botox can help prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth, but it can’t treat deeper wrinkles such as laugh lines and furrows.
Faris believes that Botox can definitely slow the process of aging, both externally and internally, but he says it should never be used in place of plastic surgery. “There are many things that can go wrong during the course of a typical Botox treatment,” he warns. “A patient can become nauseated due to the anesthesia, they can develop droopy eyelids, or they can lose consciousness. In my opinion, the risks of going through surgery versus the risk of undergoing a Botox treatment simply aren’t comparable.”
In addition, he sees no need to give patients multiple treatments. “I usually limit them to two in any given year, unless the person has undergone extensive prior treatments,” he says.
Dr. Faris notes that although Botox works great for treating crow’s feet and forehead lines, it doesn’t do as well when someone wants to smooth out jowls. For this type of situation, he recommends trying fillers made of collagen or hyaluronic acid. These substances are already found in the human body and therefore pose no danger of allergy or infection. They’re designed to be absorbed by the body and gradually replace lost moisture. Fillers can be used to plump up sunken cheeks or lift the jaw line.
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