To Botox or Not to Botox? That Is the Question!

The two most widely requested cosmetic procedures that are performed safely and effectively are lip filler treatment and Botox injections. This popular procedure has been performed globally for more than 10 years for a wide variety of medical conditions, but most commonly Botox is employed for the treatment of wrinkles on the face.

There are common misconceptions about both where on the face Botox injections can be performed and that the procedure can smooth all wrinkles. To clarify this matter, let’s examine the most typical wrinkle areas that occur on the face. Crow’s feet, smiles lines, and surprise lines are the most popular issues for which Botox is satisfactorily employed.

Surprise lines are creases that occur horizontally on the forehead and are typically prominent when the eyebrows are raised. Frown lines or “number 11 lines” are located between the eyebrows and form vertically and are most noticeable when one attempts to frown.

Crow’s feet are small lines that begin from an angle stemming from the outside of the eyes and continue toward the temples and are fan-like in appearance. The shape of these lines appears similar in shape to a bird’s feet. Why the crow was the term after which the bird foot shaped skin imperfection was coined, one can only guess. Crow’s feet are most prominent when the person who suffers from them is squinting.

Smile lines stem from the nose to the mouth’s angles. Most notable when smiling, smile lines can develop quite significantly in some sufferers. The medically correct term for smile lines are coined in medical literature are “nasolabial folds”, a term derived from the Latin term employed for folds from the nose to the lips.

Marionette lines stem from the mouth and appear vertically toward the chin, resembling the lines that appear on the faces of marionettes, which are crafted to permit the puppet to move its mouth both up and down.

Neither marionette or smile lines are not treatable with Botox injections, as these deep-set lines are always prominent even when the muscles aren’t being used. Attempting to paralyze the muscles that permit smiling or movement of the lips could cause serious issues, such as facial drooping, but more importantly it still won’t vanish these creases or lessen their prominence.

Fine vertical lines that appear around the lips are referred to as, “smoker’s lines”. These lines characteristically appear in smokers, as the act of smoking requires a puckering motion to occur, which brings those lines to prominence. Smoker’s lines may also be diminished by Botox injections, however, if a person is an active smoker, the effect could be very limited.

It’s vital to be mindful that the wrinkle smoothing effect that Botox brings due to its muscle relaxing properties is that the treatment doesn’t have a direct effect to the skin, as it only acts on the skin’s underlying muscles. When the facial muscles are active, they continually pull the skin into a variety of directions, which creates wrinkles.

As Botox performs its relaxing magic on the facial muscles, portions of the face where significant muscle activity is employed will benefit from the treatment the most. However, the affected muscles shouldn’t be muscles that are integral to producing facial expressions or other vital functions, as this may lead to undesirable treatment effects that make the face appear to be unnaturally paralyzed.