Nobody likes to admit it, but we’re all going to get lines and wrinkles on our once youthful faces. When that happens, you may be discouraged by what you see, and your self-confidence can be affected. Don’t let lines and wrinkles affect your happiness and sense of well-being. Call Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO to ask about Xeomin and Botox.
What Causes Lines and Wrinkles?
If only there was a magic pill we could take that would prevent the formation of lines and wrinkles: but there isn’t, and we’re all going to get them at some point. There are things you can to do to delay them, but you can’t prevent them. So, what causes the etching of these lines and wrinkles?
Collagen is the fibrous protein responsible for holding all our skin cells together. This makes all the layers of our skin strong and anchored to each other. The middle layer of our skin, the dermis, acts as a scaffold for the surface of our skin, and collagen, along with elastin and hyaluronic acid, keep that layer of our skin smooth and wrinkle-free.
As we age and are exposed to elements that further break down collagen, the foundation of our skin weakens. Over time, our production of collagen decreases and that scaffold starts to break down, causing little areas of collapse. Gravity and losing elastin, pushes our surface skin into those areas, creating wrinkles, lines, and folds.
As you can guess by the name of this protein, elastin is responsible for the elasticity of our skin. It’s actually the reason all our organs, not just the skin, are flexible and able to return to their original shape after movement. For our skin, it means we can pinch and pull but our skin will snap back into shape—but not forever.
As we age, we lose elastin, and our skin isn’t so quick to snap back. Gravity is a constant pull on everything, including our faces, and without the strong foundation of collagen, our elastin will eventually lose the ability to bounce back completely. This leads to the dreaded sagging of our skin that causes laxity around our jawline, necks, and chin.
When you look at a young person’s skin, you can see the dewy and supple complexion that gives them a glow. This is because they have an ample supply of the sugar hyaluronic acid that attracts and keeps moisture in their skin. It’s also responsible for keeping our eyes and other connective tissue lubricated.
As we lose hyaluronic acid, that dewy complexion diminishes and our skin is more easily dehydrated. We’ll need heavier and more hydrating creams to keep our skin healthy.
As we age, gravity affects everything, including the thin layers of fat and fat pads we have on our faces. When we’re young, we have fat pads that give us our prominent cheekbones and youthful profile. We also have a layer of fat that pads out areas like our foreheads and temples.
As time passes, this padding is pulled downward and ends up slipping into the lower portion of our face. This not only causes sagging in our mouth, jawline and neck areas, but it also causes our foreheads, temples and cheek areas to thin, making it easier for lines and wrinkles to form because we’ve lost larger areas of volume.
The passage of time will eventually bring on a loss in production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. There are other factors that contribute to how quickly we lose production and show signs of aging, however. Some we can’t avoid:
The good news is that most contributing factors can be avoided and can delay signs of aging. Things to avoid so you can preserve your youthful-looking skin for as long as possible include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- A diet high in sugar and processed foods
- Not enough exercise
- Long-term, unmanaged stress
- Long-term, inadequate sleep
- Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Poor skincare regimen
The Important of the Sun
The biggest factor in pre-mature aging is our exposure to the sun. Most people do not protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun as often as they need to. This leads to early signs of aging. Everyone should apply sunscreen every day, in all situations. You are exposed to the rays of the sun even where you might least expect it:
- While driving
- Sitting in an office with windows
- Walking to and from your car to a building
- In rooms of your house with windows
If we all wore sunscreen from a young age and did it consistently, our collagen production wouldn’t decrease nearly as quickly as it does. Doctors and dermatologists all agree that sunscreen is the best preventative measure for aging any of us can take. The biggest investment you can make in your skin is sold just about everywhere and can fit into any budget.
There are two kinds of wrinkles: those caused by gravity and those caused by movement. The wrinkles caused by movement are sometimes called dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles and lines result from years of making the same repeated expressions. You’ll eventually find that your expressions don’t go away, even when you relax your face.
The frown lines between your eyebrows that appear when you’re upset, concentrating, concerned or when you’re making micro-expressions all throughout your day will eventually become etched into your skin. This is because each time those muscles move, your skin goes with them. Over time, you develop lines and wrinkles.
The good news is there is help for those wrinkles and lines, so you don’t have to resign to them. Talk to your doctor about the neuromodulators Botox and Xeomin.
What Are Botox and Xeomin?
These injectables belong to a family called neuromodulators. Both contain small amounts of a purified form of botulinum toxin protein derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The formulas, potency and dosing between the two are different, so one cannot replace the other.
How Do They Work?
Neuromodulators work by targeting the underlying cause of these kinds of dynamic wrinkles—movement. These injections can temporarily interrupt the repeated and consistent muscle contractions that cause these wrinkles. They work by blocking the nerve’s signal to the muscle causing it to move.
When this communication between nerve and muscle is temporarily disrupted, the muscle can relax, and this gives the skin on top of it the time and opportunity to smooth. Over time, this forces the wrinkles to soften their appearance diminishes.
What to Expect
The treatment steps are the same for both injectables. You and your doctor will determine which one is right for you after discussing your areas of concern, history with these injectables and expected results. Once a determination is made, there’s not much preparation for you to do. Because these are non-surgical treatments, the only thing to do is reduce the already low chance of bruising.
To do this, your doctor may ask about any blood-thinning medications you regularly take, including over the counter and supplements. If you bruise easily, it could be a good idea to stop taking the following a week or two before treatment or as directed by your specialist:
- Fish oil
- Vitamin E
When you arrive at your appointment, your doctor may apply a topical numbing cream to the injection site. This cream takes about 15 minutes to numb the area and will ensure you’re comfortable during your treatment.
Your doctor will then make a series of small and shallow injections to targeted muscles that will get you the results you desire. Once your treatment is done, you can go back to your normal routine. In fact, many people return to work or social routines immediately after leaving the office.
There is no downtime associated with either of these treatments. You’ll be asked to avoid rubbing the treatment site or have any other facial treatment involving heat for the next few days. Your doctor may also ask you to avoid strenuous activity for a few days.
The two treatments diverge a bit when it comes to results. It’s worth breaking them both down to highlight their differences and help you understand which may be more appropriate for you.
Botox is one of the most extensively tested and studied aesthetic treatments in the world. It is also the number one requested and physician-administered cosmetic treatment in the world. It’s approved in 76 countries and is FDA approved in the US to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate-to-severe crow’s feet and frown lines.
The FDA approved Botox for use on frown lines and crow’s feet, but there are also many “off-label” uses for Botox. Off-label means that while the FDA hasn’t approved its use for certain areas, the cosmetic community has effectively and safely treated other areas with Botox. Areas where Botox is most commonly used include:
- Frown lines between the eyebrows
- Forehead lines
- Crow’s feet
- Bunny lines on the side of the nose
Botox for Eyebrow Lift
One of the side effects of using Botox strategically around the eyebrows is the lift and arch it can provide. When the muscles that pull eyebrows down are relaxed, the effect is a lifting of the arch area. This can open the eyes and reduce a heavy and drooping brow.
Botox for a Gummy Smile
When you look at pictures, are you happy with your smile, or do you feel you show too much of your gums? If you’re unhappy with a gummy smile, your doctor may use Botox to reduce the pull those muscles that are lifting your lips too high. You’ll still be able to smile, but you’ll show your teeth and not your gums.
Xeomin is made from the same purified protein as Botox, and it behaves the same way. The key difference between the two are the extra proteins Botox uses. Xeomin is purified to isolate the therapeutic component of the protein molecule and filter out the accessory proteins. Because the active ingredient is in its pure state, this is the first treatment of its kind to not need refrigeration.
Some patients report the warmer injection of Xeomin is more comfortable than the cold Botox injection; although both treatments are very well tolerated.
The Botox Antibodies
Because there are accessory proteins with Botox, there may be a chance a patient will develop antibodies to the injectable, and this could prevent it from having its desired effect. Because Xeomin is purified without the extra proteins, there isn’t the chance those additional protein antibodies will form.
Where Can It Be Used?
This treatment has been proven most successful for use on the frown lines between the eyebrows. Many physicians will use it to effectively treat etched lines on the forehead. The reduction in movement in both places, as with Botox, will prevent lines and wrinkles from getting deeper and new ones from forming.
Results From Both Treatments
The physical results from both treatments are the same: relaxed muscle movement causing an improvement of the appearance of lines and wrinkles caused by repeated movement. There could be a small difference in the timeline of results.
Xeomin results can appear as early as one day after treatment. This differs from Botox, which usually takes between 3-5 days to take effect. This is beneficial for a client who has put off treatment and has an event happening in a few days. They may experience a softening of lines quicker with this treatment than they would with Botox.
How Long Do Results Last?
Results for both can last up to four months. Each patient is different, and the timeline varies for each person. Work with your physician or skincare specialist to determine the right maintenance schedule to keep your younger-looking appearance.
The more often you are on time with maintenance appointments, the better your results will be because your skin will be smoothed without interruption. This allows those lines and wrinkles to continue to improve in appearance.
Which Injectable Is Right for You?
This is best determined by a partnership with your doctor or skincare professional. There are several factors to consider. You’ll want to talk through your previous treatment history and whether you have experience with neuromodulators. If you’ve had Botox previously, and it worked well, that may be the right route to take.
If you’ve shown signs of developing a tolerance to Botox or need faster results than Botox can offer, then Xeomin will be the way to go. Your doctor will have a specific set of questions and considerations to go over before a recommendation is made.
Call for an Appointment
Whichever treatment is ultimately decided on, you’ll love the results. If you’re unhappy with the way wrinkles and lines are affecting your appearance, you don’t have to live with it. You deserve to look and feel your best.
Contact Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO and schedule a consultation with us. We believe in enhancing your natural beauty. We’re committed to providing each of our patients with uncompromising quality of the treatment. We foster a caring and professional environment focused on getting you your optimal results. We look forward to speaking with you.