In the past, `Botox` has often been dismissed as a quick, short-term fix for wrinkles – a remedy of choice for vain society people who are long past their physical prime. Nevertheless, Botox continues its victory lap on a global scale, with numbers of users rising nearly exponentially.
It is well-known for its paralyzing effects on the facial muscles to reduce facial frown lines and wrinkles. But there might be more to Botox than meets the eye.
A recent study published in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, suggests Long-Lasting Anti-Aging effects through Botox. These new insights might shake the widely held conception of Botox as a short-lived and completely reversible quick fix, with no substantial benefits in regards to Anti-Aging.
The aforementioned Canadian study found increased skin elasticity of up to 30% over a period of about 4 months (Bonaparte & Ellis). So why does this matter and what’s the possible link to Anti-Aging?
Skin elasticity is a term to describe the ability of our skin to stretch and snap back to its original shape. It decreases when we become older – a process that starts as early as in our mid-twenties. Aside from aging, this loss of skin elasticity can also be found as a result of excessive, chronic sun exposure, and is then called solar elastosis (also referred to as actinic elastosis). Smoking, poor nutrition, excessive weight loss, and severe air pollution are other factors known to cause elastosis. To different degrees, any form of elastosis causes our skin to look older, saggy, wrinkled, and sometimes even leathery. Logically, anti-aging medicine and `dermatology` aim to prevent or reduce the effects of losing skin elasticity. Traditional approaches include collagen and Retinol supplementation, topical treatment with Hyaluronic Acid, and certain laser treatments to name a few. But boosting skin elasticity as a side-effect of Botox injections has never been described before and sheds new light on the benefits of Botox procedures.
Loss of skin elasticity is one of the most important factors causing the skin to age. While Botox certainly isn’t the “silver bullet” to solve the causes of skin aging, it seems to be more effective in regards to boosting skin elasticity than many of the traditional therapies and agents widely advertised in the ever-expanding market of Anti-Aging. The findings of the aforementioned study may also explain the common observation, that Botox can smooth some of the deeper wrinkles, even though, unlike dermal fillers, it doesn’t have the right texture and viscosity to do so and isn’t designated are advertised for this effect. To understand the possible explanation, it is important to understand that wrinkles are first and foremost a result of elastosis – the loss of skin elasticity. That’s why a possible increase of skin elasticity may assist to smoothen those wrinkles, aside from the main effect of inducing a temporary paralysis of the mimic facial muscles.
In regards to these new findings, the authors of the aforementioned study already stressed the importance of further research into the matter to collect more evidence and to understand exactly how the boost of skin elasticity through Botox is being induced.
Dr. Dominique Laatz