Just when we thought Botox couldn’t be anymore amazing, it turns it is likely is. Researchers in Canada are suggesting that Botox may not only prevent the formation of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing treated muscles but may also improve the quality of facial skin.
Botox is the number one cosmetic procedure in the country with nearly 7 million treatments performed last year alone. Common areas of use include the forehead, crow’s feet, and between the brows. Not only has it proved to be an incredible anti-aging treatment but it’s proved beneficial in treating a number of medical conditions, including over-active bladder control, chronic migraines, and excessive sweating. New benefits of Botox continue to be studied, including additional cosmetic ones.
Dr. James Bonaparte of the University of Ottawa and Dr. David Ellis of the University of Toronto believe it might be possible that Botox not only works on the muscle, where it’s injected, but may stimulate skin cells called fibroblasts, as well. When stimulated, fibroblasts respond by making more collagen and elastin, which makes the skin more elastic.
“The changes occurring in patients’ skin appear to be the opposite of those associated with the aging process and UV radiation exposure and inflammation. This study also suggests that the duration of effect of these changes mimics the duration of effect of the medication,” they write in the Journal of American Medical Association’s Facial and Plastic Surgery publication.
As Dr. Thompson often sees with patients in his own practice, Botox seems to have permanent effects after years of repeated treatments as the muscle continues to weaken. And now researchers are learning that it’s also possible that the Botox changes the skin as well.
“What we don’t know is why patients who get Botox seem to get nicer-looking skin than patients who don’t,” wrote Dr. Winslow, a contributor to the study.
Dr. Bonaparte and Ellis used a device called a Cutometer to measure the skin elasticity before and after the injections of 43 women with an average age of 55. Measurements shows the skin became more elastic with treatment and lost the extra stretchiness after 4 months when Botox typically begins to wear off.
More studies need to be done but the researchers believe that Botox might be making the collagen in the skin “more organized”.
Winslow believes it’s also possible that freezing the muscle stops it from producing other toxic waste products that contribute to aging. “It might be that Botox is an anti-aging and anti-oxidant,” she said.
This is all very exciting for many plastic surgeons, dermatologists and patients alike. As skin ages, it produces less collagen and elastin overtime. While there are good skincare creams on the market today, stimulating an increase in collagen and elastin has to be produced internally to really have an impact.
If repeated studies show similar results, Botox could be helpful in healing scars and treating other medical skin conditions.
For now, it’s exciting to think our favorite wrinkle smoother may also be a fabulous skincare treatment, which makes it extra worth the financial investment.
For more information on how Botox works, where it’s used, and what to expect with treatment, visit our Botox page HERE.